An auto accident can happen in a split-second, and many people have no time to prepare. The best way to deal with an accident is to be prepared for one before it happens.
After a car accident, most people are shocked, many will experience a rush of emotions and adrenaline that can often make you feel like you’re okay, even if you are injured. A few simple steps to take to be prepared for this situation include:
- Keeping a safety kit in your vehicle.
- Ensuring all important information (vehicle registration, emergency contacts, health insurance cards, etc.) are in the glovebox.
- Keep your cellphone charged in case it is needed for an emergency.
Immediately After an Auto Accident
As previously mentioned, after an accident emotions can run high. Once you realize what just happened, take a deep breath and try to remain calm. By remaining calm, you can better assess the situation, and help yourself and others.
- Check for injuries and call 9-1-1 – the accident should be reported even if it appears minor.
- Turn on your hazards to warn other drivers.
- If possible, set out warning triangles or flares for safety.
- Also if possible, move the vehicle out of the way of oncoming traffic or wait until back-up arrives.
- If you are in the middle of the road and cannot move your car or self, it may be best to stay in your vehicle with the seatbelt on.
Protecting Your Legal Rights
After an accident, the scene can become chaotic as police arrive, roadside assistance comes to clear debris, and medical personnel assess injuries. During this time, you can take several steps to help protect your legal rights.
- Take photos at the scene of the accident.
- Make notes about the crash, such as date and time, site of the crash, road and weather conditions, etc.
- Get information from witnesses, such as a name and phone number, in case they need to be contacted in the future.
- When police arrive, only provide the facts of the incident – do not blame anyone or take responsibility, even if you think the accident was your fault.
Even if you think you have not been injured, it is important to receive medical treatment as some accident injuries are not apparent until long after the crash. Whiplash symptoms can appear up to 24 hours after an accident. The injured party needs to seek medical treatment within 14 days of the accident in order to be entitled to Personal Injury Protection benefits according to the Florida No-Fault Law.
Also, do not sign any documents you do not agree with before speaking with a car accident lawyer. An insurance company may contact you to settle a claim as soon as possible, while you’re still suffering from injuries and receiving medical treatment. By agreeing to the settlement, you may not be getting compensation for all your injuries or the treatment you need.
If anyone in the vehicle was injured in the wreck, an attorney can help you better defend yourself so that you obtain the maximum amount of compensation to which you are entitled.
For a free consultation with a car accident lawyer, contact Justin Weinstein.
Fill out a case evaluation form or call 954-845-0505.