Florida has one of the highest car accident rates in the country. In 2019 alone, at least 3,273 people died in traffic collisions, according to the Florida Department of Health. Distracted driving is given as the most cited reason for accidents in Florida and our state has the second-highest accidents related to distracted driving.1
And many of us experience a car accident in our lives. From minor fender benders to more serious auto collisions, most of us have had the unfortunate experience at least once. But at that moment, we are often understandably confused and frazzled. If you have just been in a car accident in Orlando, then try to relax and focus on these tips here.
Although our personal injury lawyers hope you never find yourself in a situation where you have to follow these steps after a car accident in Orlando, we want you to be prepared!
1: Get In Touch With Authorities
Call the police immediately after the accident. After assessing your condition and that of your passengers, you need to call 911 or the police right away. If someone in your car is hurt, you should mention that so an ambulance could be sent to the scene.
The authorities will help you gather the names of the relevant parties including their contact and insurance information. A police report is crucial to filing for damages, so failing to contact the authorities could hurt your case. Filing a police report is so important, especially if you want to be sure that all the right information is documented for any future case filings. If you disagree with the police for any reason, there is recourse for you as well.
Later, you can request a crash report from the Orlando police here or call the nonemergency Orlando police phone number here: 407.246.2406 and email them here: [email protected].
2: Take Photographs
If you’re not hurt from the accident and you don’t need medical attention, you could remain at the scene and take photographs of the wreck and the scene itself, which will serve as part of your evidence during the case. Photographic evidence is extremely helpful. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and they are right!
Videos are also invaluable so you may ask if there are pedestrians around if they captured anything on their dash cam or mobile phones. Remember that dash cam footage can be used in court and can help you in your case.
3: Seek Medical Attention If Needed
If you or your passengers got hurt, it’s very important to seek medical attention right away. Your medical evaluation will hold a huge weight on your case, so you have to seek treatment for injuries, although some may appear days or weeks after the accident.
Florida’s Personal Injury Protection law also now requires beneficiaries to seek medical attention within 14 days from the accident to receive PIP compensation. Regardless of the law, we believe that you should seek medical attention as soon as you can following an accident in Orlando.
Look for the closest hospital to you here on this Orlando hospital directory here.
4: Get In Touch With Your Insurance Company
Florida is a “no-fault” state, which means that, “every driver who operates a motor vehicle registered in the State of Florida, must have a minimum of $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage.”
But whether you plan to sue from the other driver’s insurer or not, you need to talk to your insurance company right away. Remember that your PIP will only cover for your medical expenses and lost wages, not any damages to your car or any other property. Our Orlando personal injury attorneys have lots of experience dealing with insurance companies, and we understand this process. We recommend speaking with a lawyer as soon as possible.
5: Be Smart With The Other Party’s Insurer
More often than not, the other party’s insurance company would want to settle things quickly and would offer you upfront. But if you’re going to get what you really deserve, never release any statement to them or agree to a settlement before finishing your medical treatment. You should also avoid signing any legal documents without having your lawyer review everything first.
It’s never easy to go through all the hassles of a car accident in Orlando. But if you are to walk out of this with the right compensation, you have to follow these important steps and consult a lawyer if you need to. Remember, what personal injury lawsuits have in common and you can ensure that you come out ahead.