If you are in a car accident, no matter how minor, your nerves will take a beating, and you may sustain injuries. However, in the aftermath, there are key steps you should remember to take.
Here are seven steps to take following a motor vehicle crash:
1. Check for injuries
Immediately check yourself and your passengers for injuries, then check occupants of the other vehicle(s) for injuries. If someone needs medical help, dial 911 to summon emergency medical personnel.
2. If possible, move your vehicle
If the accident was a fender-bender and your car is a hazard to traffic, move it to a safe area, if possible. If you cannot move it, activate your hazard lights to warn other motorists of your position.
3. Make important calls
Call the police to report the accident, and remain at the scene until law enforcement officers arrive. If you leave the scene of an accident in Florida, you may be charged with a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances. While you wait for the police to arrive, call your attorney to report the crash and receive legal advice.
4. Do not admit fault
Exchange insurance information with the other driver(s), but do not admit fault.
5. Collect information
Jot down as much information as possible about the accident and the crash site:
- Makes and models of the vehicles involved
- License plate and vehicle identification numbers
- Names of drivers and passengers
- Contact information of any witnesses to the accident
- Location of the accident, including any identifiers, such as a street sign or highway marker
- Names and badge numbers for law enforcement officers
6. Take photos
Use your cellphone to take photos of the site and damage to vehicles. If you have a visible injury, ask someone to take a picture of it with your phone.
7. See a doctor
Even if you feel fine and have no apparent injuries, see a doctor promptly. Your well-being is the first consideration, but a medical report ties any injuries you may have directly to the car crash. The report will be important when the time comes to file a claim for insurance compensation.