Florida Car Accident Checklist: Navigating the Aftermath with Bengal Law’s Expertise
Car accidents are stressful and overwhelming, especially in Florida, where the laws and regulations can be complex and confusing. If you are involved in a car accident in Florida, you may not know what to do or who to turn to for help. That’s why we at Bengal Law have created this quick checklist to guide you through the steps you should take immediately after a car accident in Florida. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), the state had over 401,000 crashes in 2021, including bicycle and motorcycle accidents and minor crashes1. This is an increase from 2020, when the state had 341,399 crashes, likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As of July 7, 2022, the state has recorded 194,632 crashes, which may indicate a downward trend2. With such high numbers of car accidents in Florida, it is important to be prepared and know what to do in case you are involved in one. At Bengal Law, we are a team of experienced and dedicated personal injury attorneys who have handled thousands of car accident cases in Florida. We know the ins and outs of the Florida car accident laws, and we can help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages. We also understand that every car accident case is unique, and we provide individualized attention and care for each of our clients.
Immediate Actions at the Accident Scene
Car accidents are sudden, stressful events that can leave you feeling disoriented and panicked. Knowing what to do in those critical moments following a collision can make all the difference in both your physical recovery and your legal case. Here’s a guide to help you navigate through those crucial first steps:
Stay Calm and Assess Your Situation
Importance of maintaining composure: In the immediate aftermath of an accident, it’s natural to feel a rush of emotions. But try to take a deep breath and stay calm. Your clear thinking will be essential in handling the situation effectively.
Checking for injuries and calling emergency services if needed: Before anything else, check yourself and others for any visible injuries. If anyone is hurt, call 911 right away. Even if injuries seem minor, it’s wise to get medical help as some injuries may not be immediately apparent.
Secure the Scene
Safety precautions like hazard lights, cones, or flares: Make the scene as safe as possible. Turn on your vehicle’s hazard lights and, if available, use cones or flares to warn other drivers. If it’s safe to do so, move your vehicle off the road to prevent further collisions.
Contact Law Enforcement
In the aftermath of a car accident, many people wonder whether they should call the police, especially if the damage appears to be minor. However, involving law enforcement is often a crucial step that shouldn’t be overlooked. Here’s why:
When and why to call the police
Importance of an Official Report: A police report is an impartial third-party account of the accident. It contains critical details like the involved parties, witnesses, and the officer’s observations of the scene. This report may become a vital piece of evidence if you decide to pursue a legal claim.
Even Minor Accidents: It’s generally advisable to call the police after an accident, regardless of how minor it may seem. Minor damage might hide more serious underlying issues, and having an official report can prevent disputes later on.
Obtaining a Copy: Be sure to ask the responding officer how you can obtain a copy of the accident report. Having this document can be essential when dealing with insurance companies or if legal action becomes necessary.
Exchange Information with Other Parties
Details to gather: Exchange information with all involved parties. This should include names, addresses, phone numbers, insurance details, and license plate numbers. Do not discuss fault or apologize, as it may be used against you later. Take pictures of the documents if possible to ensure accuracy.
Seek Medical Attention
In the chaos that often follows a car accident, it’s crucial not to overlook your health. Even if you feel fine, underlying injuries might not manifest symptoms immediately. Taking appropriate medical action is not only vital for your well-being but also plays a critical role in any subsequent legal claims.
Immediate Care if Necessary
Importance of medical attention, even if injuries seem minor: After an accident, adrenaline can mask the pain of injuries. It’s vital to consult with a medical professional as soon as possible, even if you feel fine at the moment. Delaying medical care could lead to complications and may also affect the credibility of your injury claim later on.
Visit a healthcare provider: Whether it’s an emergency room visit or an appointment with your primary care physician, don’t delay in getting a professional medical assessment. Prompt care can catch injuries that might otherwise go unnoticed until they become more severe.
Documentation of Medical Treatment
How medical records can affect your legal case: Accurate medical documentation serves as concrete evidence of your injuries and the associated costs. Keep a detailed record of all treatments, including doctor visits, medications, therapies, and any other related expenses.
Communicate openly with your healthcare provider: Be sure to describe all your symptoms and how the accident happened, as this information will be part of your medical records. Ensure that everything is accurately recorded, as inconsistencies might be used against you later.
Consult with Bengal Law: Our experienced team at Bengal Law: Florida Car Accident Lawyers and Personal Injury Attorneys PLLC understands the importance of proper medical documentation in building a strong case. We can guide you through this process and ensure that your rights are protected.
Documenting the Accident
Gathering evidence after a car accident is a vital step that can significantly affect the outcome of your case. This information can provide a clear picture of what happened and who is responsible. Here’s how to effectively document the accident:
What to capture with photos or videos: Make sure to take clear pictures of all visible damages to vehicles, surrounding property, and any injuries. Capture various angles and distances to provide a comprehensive view. Don’t forget to include photos of the accident scene, including road conditions, traffic signs, and any relevant skid marks or debris.
Speak to Witnesses
How to gather and record witness statements: If there are witnesses to the accident, approach them calmly and ask for their contact information and a brief statement of what they saw. If possible, record their statements on your phone, ensuring you have their consent first. These witness accounts can provide an unbiased perspective of the event.
Keep a Personal Account
Importance of writing down your memories of the event: As soon as you can, write down everything you remember about the accident, including your actions, the actions of others, weather conditions, and any conversations you had. These details might become fuzzy over time, so capturing them right away can be crucial.
Why Choose Us
Decades of experience: Our legal team has settled millions of dollars for our clients.
Former insurance adjusters & defense attorneys: We know the tactics used by insurance companies because we used to work for them. We leverage that experience to fight for your rights.
Low volume, high-value practice: We focus on a limited number of cases to ensure that you receive personalized attention and the best results possible.
Direct communication with attorneys: You’ll work closely with injury attorney Jeff Starker, who has over 25 years of handling cases like yours.
Emphasis on individualized attention and understanding your story: We listen, we care, and we strategize according to your specific situation and needs.
How we maximize the value of each case: We spend significant time getting your story, gathering documents, and working quickly to maximize your case’s value.
How to Reach Us
Contact information: Don’t hesitate to reach out by calling or texting 407-815-3000. We look forward to serving you.
Contact Bengal Law: Florida Car Accident Lawyers and Personal Injury Attorneys PLLC
Accidents can be overwhelming and terrifying. But you don’t have to face the aftermath alone. Bengal Law is here to provide expert guidance and compassionate support.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Florida, the essential steps to take are to stay calm, secure the scene, seek medical attention, contact law enforcement, document the accident, and reach out to Bengal Law. Our legal team is here to ensure the best possible outcome for your case.
At Bengal Law: Florida Car Accident Lawyers and Personal Injury Attorneys PLLC, we know that personal injury is personal. We want to hear your story and understand what you need to rebuild your future. Our approach is different from the large billboard injury firms because we focus on you, your story, and provide individualized attention to make a full financial recovery after an accident.
Your case deserves empathy, attention, and dedication. And that’s precisely what we offer. Contact us today at 407-815-3000, and let us help you hold those responsible for your injuries accountable. Contact us today!