Legal Toolkit Florida Injury and Accidents

What to Do About Injury and Accidents

a

At the scene of the accident, call 9-1-1 to report the accident and wait until police and/or fire personnel arrive. Warn coming drivers by placing accident flares appropriately, activating hazard lights on both vehicles, and/or moving vehicles to the side of the road if possible.   Once the space around the accident is secured, exchange information with the other driver. Gather the other driver’s name, address, phone, and driver’s license number; insurance name/policy number/agent contact; car make, model, license plate number; photos of damaged property, scene of accident, surrounding area. Note current weather, roadway conditions, sight-obscuring contributors like overgrown vegetation, skid mark measurements, and any other factors that may be important in determining the facts and causes of the accident. Take photos at the scene if possible or return with a camera immediately after the accident to take photos. If the other driver resists giving information or flees the scene, do not confront or challenge them. Instead, note their car make, license plate, and direction they are heading along with a quick description of their appearance and clothing to share with the police. After the accident, immediately contact your insurance agent, file a police report, and be seen by a physician if you are injured.

b

Accident information to gather: Insurance name, policy number, and agent contact; Driver’s name, address, phone, and driver’s license number; Car make, model, license plate number; Photos of property damage to all vehicles involved, scene of accident, surrounding area if they can be safely obtained; Accident occurrence weather, roadway conditions, sight-obscuring contributors like overgrown vegetation, skid mark measurements if they can be safely obtained, statements made by the other driver(s); name, address and phone number for any witnesses and any other factors that may be important in determining the facts and causes of the accident.

c

After the accident, immediately contact your insurance company to report the crash and be seen by a physician if you are injured, keeping thorough copies of any reports. If parts of your body feel injured at the scene, you should report this information to the reporting officer and treating medical providers immediately. Often times people do not feel pain at the scene or delay in receiving treatment believing the pain will go away.  In Florida, regardless of who is at fault your Personal Injury Protection insurance is the initial payer of any accident related bills.  If treatment is not received within 14 days of the crash your Personal Injury Protection benefits will be denied.  If you begin feeling any pain or discomfort following a crash you should seek medical attention immediately.  To explore your option and best protect your legal interests and rights you may consider contacting a personal injury attorney.

d

Following an accident, you are contractually required to report the crash to your insurance company. However, generally there is no obligation to speak with the other driver‘s insurance company. You should be cautious when speaking with any insurance company representative because they are investigating the claim and collecting information that may mitigate their insured’s exposure. Often times you will be asked about the extent of your injuries shortly after a crash and may report that you are fine only to have your symptoms begin later. In such and instance the earlier statement that you were fine may be used against you.  To best protect your legal rights and interests you may consider contacting a personal injury attorney.

e

If the injured person has died, the family will need to decide who will be appointed the Personal Representative for purposes of pursuing a wrongful death claim.