What to Do If You’re in an Accident in Florida

According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, car accidents occur every minute of every day. It is estimated that all drivers will probably be involved in at least four car accidents in their lifetimes with nearly 1.5 million car crashes resulting in injury. Even if you think it won’t happen to you, statistically, it most likely will. 

Steps to follow after an accident

The initial shock of a serious auto crash (not just a fender bender) can make it difficult to focus on what you need to do and how you should do it. You’re trying to figure out what happened, whose fault it was, and whether you’re injured. Despite how difficult it may be, you need to concentrate. 

  1. The first and most important step is to remain on the scene. Florida law requires it, and failure to comply could result in serious criminal charges such as hit-and-run. It’s important to remember that the crash isn’t the crime, fleeing is. Additionally, Florida law requires the affected parties to report the accident to the police if it involves damages over $500. If you’re not sure, it’s best to report it. 
  2. The best thing to do next is to preserve the scene of the accident as much as possible. However, it’s crucial to move vehicles that are blocking traffic; just remember to take careful note of their position. Photographs are your best bet. 
  3. Finally, exchange information with the other driver. Each driver must provide all affected parties with their name, address, vehicle registration number and driver’s license, as well as any facts necessary to determine the cause of the accident to the police officer. 
  4. Be sure to obtain any contact information from any potential witnesses to the crash, look out for any traffic cameras or other cameras around that may have captured the accident. 

Another thing to look out for is anything that may have obstructed the views or something wrong with the road. This is particularly important if there is a question about who is at fault for this accident. Having these details can help your case. 

Defense line after a car accident

It is important that you do not volunteer any additional information or apologize for the accident; that’s admitting fault. Speak with a lawyer first. Once you’re given clearance to leave the scene, if you believe you have an injury, go to a doctor and get treated; sometimes the lawyer will give a referral to the doctor. (Sometimes personal primary physicians don’t want to become involved in accident cases.) This is essential not only for yourself but also for your case. From here your lawyer will work toward a fair solution with the insurance companies, their lawyers, and anyone else involved in the situation. 

During your case, it is probable that everyone involved in the case or anyone who witnessed the incident will have to give a deposition. A deposition is a question-and-answer session where parties, or their attorneys, ask the witness or witnesses questions they must answer under oath. This can be nerve-racking but there’s no need to fear, a great lawyer is there to help prepare you and be there with you during the session. 

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There comes a time where we must decide if we want to file a lawsuit on your case. In Florida, the statute of limitations for filing for personal injury lawsuits is four years from the day the injuries occurred. This is to protect people from being sued for very old injuries when evidence is gone and memories have faded. The sooner the better, however. 

Most car accident lawsuits are based on a negligence claim; you have to demonstrate the other driver failed to practice reasonable care while driving their vehicle. Easier cases to prove include ones where the driver was driving recklessly, breaking traffic laws or intoxicated. 

Also, there are a lot of innovative solutions for such issues with accidents. The great example could be PainWorth. It helps you resolve your personal injury claim online.

Bottom line

Most cases are settled outside of the courtroom, but we at PainWorth are happy to go to court if an agreement cannot be made between us and the insurance company’s attorneys. Each case is unique and needs to be looked at individually to determine what the best approach is. We are ready and determined to help you get the compensation you deserve.

Article by Jordan Ostroff

Jordan Ostroff is the lawyer from Florida, Founding Partner of the law firm Jordan Law and President of the marketing agency for lawyers Legal Ease. The lack of good marketing in the law firms in the U.S. pushed Jordan to take interest in this sphere and help other firms to acquire that success as well.

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