After an Accident
7 Things You Must Do After an Auto Accident
Our firm is committed to providing the highest quality and most client-focused representation possible. All of our Bradenton personal injury lawyers are here for local residents in need, not for anything else. As such, we place an emphasis on helping them understand their legal rights and what they can do in the wake of tragedy and misfortune. We provide these seven essential points that victims and families should remember after an auto accident to ensure that local injured victims have the foundation of facts they need to protect themselves. We also offer these steps in a detailed brochure that we can provide to anyone upon request.
- Stop Your Vehicle - The law requires that you stop at the scene of an accident. If you leave the scene of an automobile accident, you risk criminal prosecution.
- Report the Accident - Call 911. It is also a wise decision to ask for medical assistance at the scene just to be safe and sure. In addition, recent changes to Florida's no-fault law require medical treatment within 14 days to qualify for personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage. Furthermore, unless an emergency medical condition is diagnosed, insurance coverage is capped at $2,500 rather than $10,000.
- Gather Information and Write it Down - Exchange contact information including names, addresses, and phone numbers. Record the year, make, model, license plate number, insurance carrier and insurance policy number for all vehicles involved. Identify any witnesses to the accident and gather their contact information.
- Take Pictures - If you have a camera in your possession, or a cell phone with camera capabilities, take photos of the damages to the vehicle, accident scene (traffic, weather, road conditions) and people involved. Also, take pictures of any injuries you have suffered, including cuts, abrasions (scrapes) and contusions (bruises).
- Identify Witnesses - Obtain the names and contact information of anyone who saw the accident. If possible, do this quickly. Often, people who witness a collision will stop for a short time and leave before the police arrive. Other motorists, passengers or pedestrians can be critical witnesses. Get their names and phone numbers.
- Do Not Discuss Fault - Do not blame the other driver, even if they were clearly at fault. It may start an argument and create additional problems. If, however, the other driver admits fault, make a mental note of it. If you can, attempt to write down what they said verbatim and identify any witnesses who overheard the other driver's statement. If you cannot write what the other driver said at the scene, write it down when you get home. Even if you feel that you are partially at fault, do not say anything that admits your feeling. "Fault" is a complex determination based on the facts and applicable laws. A qualified attorney can handle this on your behalf.
- Contact an Attorney - You should seek legal advice to learn about your rights, potential liabilities and to determine if it is in your best interest to hire an advocate who can negotiate on your behalf with the insurance companies involved. Remember, insurance companies are in the business to collect premiums, not to pay claims. By hiring a Bradenton personal injury lawyer from our firm, you are not being litigious - you are simply protecting your rights. In fact, in a majority of claims that we work, a lawsuit is never required. Many claims settle as the result of skilled and aggressive negotiations.
Hire a Bradenton Personal Injury Attorney
Every member of our legal team takes pride in the fact that we are here for our clients from the moment that they reach out to our firm in their times of need. If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a motor vehicle accident, allow a Bradenton personal injury attorney from our firm to assist you in learning about your legal rights, available options, and how we can help. Contact Carl Reynolds Law today.