The personal injury attorneys of Cohen & Newmark PLLC outline your first steps to take after a car crash.
About three-quarters of Florida drivers have been involved in at least one accident. And, according to a 2020 Forbes report, car insurance companies estimate that the average driver files an insurance claim for an auto collision once every 17.9 years. This means the average person will be in three to four vehicle collisions over the course of their driving lifetime. While every accident is different, the protocol for what to do after an accident remains relatively the same. While we hope you are never involved in a collision, we also hope you know what to do in the event of one. Below you will find a checklist of things to do after a car accident.
- Make sure everyone is safe
If you are safe and well, the first thing to do after an accident is check on everyone. First, turn on your emergency flashers and exit your vehicle if you can. If the accident is more than minor, or if anyone is injured, call 911 so an ambulance and police can assist as soon as possible. If the accident is minor, yet you still want assistance, you can call the non-emergency police line. Stay at the scene of the accident until help arrives.
- Exchange information
Once you’ve ensured everyone is safe, you can begin to review what happened. Be sure to protect your interests during this conversation. You can do so by:
- taking pictures of the vehicles and location where the accident happened
- moving the cars AFTER pictures were taken, if safe and possible.
- NEVER admit you were wrong or apologize for what happened. This may feel unnatural or uncomfortable, but doing so could be a sign of guilt on your behalf.
- exchanging contact and insurance information with all drivers involved in the accident. If the other driver(s) do not have insurance, be sure to collect valid contact information. This will include:
- the driver’s name, address, and phone number
- their driver’s license number
- the vehicle description (year, make, model, license plate)
- Call your insurance company
When it comes to dealing with your (or any) insurance company, you need to stay ahead of the game. Call your insurance company to report the accident as soon as you can. It is important to be the first to report the accident, rather than waiting for the other driver to report their claim. It is also important to begin your documentation of the accident immediately, so that any damages, injuries, or late-showing injuries can be attributed to their true cause – the car crash. The representative on call will ask you questions and may wish to send an adjuster to the site to assess damage.
- Call your lawyer
After you’ve concluded your call with the insurance company, your next call should be with an injury attorney. Even if you are not sure if your injuries are severe enough to warrant an attorney, your lawyer will be able to guide you through next steps and ensure those steps go through the proper channels to ensure your rights and interests are protected.
Even if you do not want to seek compensation for the accident, having an attorney on your side can help you navigate insurance claims and serve as your representative should another agency decide to seek compensation from you.
Choosing an Auto Accident Attorney
Choose a lawyer who, first and foremost, you trust. You will be entrusting this attorney and their team to handle problems and issues that could potentially cost you a lot of money – or potentially earn you compensation to pay your bills. Second, choosing an attorney who is experienced in auto accidents will ensure he or she understands the protocols and requirements of insurance agencies – further improving your likelihood of fair compensation. The team at Cohen & Newmark PLLC has a national reputation for helping car accident victims obtain justice. Specially trained to handle any auto accident and equipped with the financial resources to consult and retain experts needed for documentation and litigation, our team is known for taking care of clients while they take care of their healing. If you have been in a car accident, simply remember to Call Lee. We’ll get the ball rolling in your favor.
You can reach the team of attorneys and legal professionals of Cohen & Newmark PLLC at 1-800-CALL-LEE.