Being involved in a Florida auto accident can be frightening for most people. Because of the shock that people can experience, they may not know what to do right after their accidents. By planning ahead about what to do if an accident does happen, people may be better equipped if they occur.
The first thing people should do after they have been involved in accidents is check themselves and others for injuries. If people have been injured, it is important not to move them unless they would be in danger.
If people are bleeding, applying pressure to their wounds using clean rags or clothing is important. Administering CPR may be necessary if someone is not breathing. Of course, people should call for help immediately after an accident and continue administering aid to the injured until help arrives.
Right after the accident, it is important for people to call the police. No matter what, people should never leave the scene of an accident. Doing so can expose them to criminal liability. When the police do arrive, people should make certain to tell them exactly what they remember happening.
It is important that people do not admit fault for causing the accident. They also should not say they have no injuries. Some injuries may not show symptoms for hours or days after an accident.
In addition to getting the driver's insurance information, it is important for people to get other information as well. People should write down the make, model and plate number for the other vehicle. They should also try to get the names of any other people who were in the other car at the time of the accident in addition to the driver's name.
If people notice that the other driver has indicators of intoxication, such as slurred speech, a smell of alcohol, bloodshot eyes or erratic behavior, they should note them and make certain to tell the responding officers about what they observed.
Police do not always notice the signs that a person has driven under the influence. Telling them these types of observations may lead the officers to test the other driver for substance use or to request that the hospital does if the driver was injured.
If there are any independent witnesses who saw what happened, it is important to try to get their names and contact information. If possible, people should also write down what each witness observed just before and during the accident.
Encouraging witnesses to stay at the scene and tell the police what they saw can also be helpful. Having their information may help later when people are negotiating with insurance companies either by themselves or through a personal injury attorney.
Even if a person doesn't initially believe he or she has been injured, it is still important to get a medical examination after being involved in an accident. Because of a combination of adrenaline and being in shock from the accident, many people do not realize that they have been injured for hours or days.
Some injuries, such as whiplash, may not show symptoms until much later. A thorough medical examination can help to identify injuries a person has sustained that they are unaware of. Prompt medical care can make the difference in how quickly a person recovers from any injuries they have received.
When a person gets immediate medical treatment, it also helps to show the insurance company that the injury resulted from the accident and not from something else, placing the person in a better negotiating position.
After getting all of the information, calling the police and getting a medical examination and any needed treatment, people may then want to call a Florida auto accident lawyer. When a person is injured in a Florida auto accident, trying to negotiate with an insurance company without help may result with the person receiving far less than he or she should.
A lawyer may be better able to value the case and to negotiate with the insurance company in order to maximize the amount of monetary compensation his or her client receives.
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