Steps to Take Following a Car Accident in Miami Lakes

Car accidents are never planned. When they occur, the results can be devastating. However, there are some basic steps that an individual should follow when an accident in Miami Lakes does occur. The first is to remain at the scene of the accident until the police and/or medical help arrives.

Whether they caused the accident or were the victim of an accident, it is important to remain at the scene until police and medics arrive. En Español.

Importance of Remaining At the Scene

Even though Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to assigning responsibility for an auto accident, state law requires that those involved in auto accidents involving significant damage, injury or death to remain on scene to respond to a law enforcement officer’s questioning. This is an important step to remember after a Miami Lakes car accident.

Should it be determined during the investigation into the accident that one party was more responsible than another for causing an accident, yet they left the scene, someone can potentially be charged with hit and run or leaving the scene of an accident. This can expose the individual to potential criminal charges.

Likewise, even in situations where responsibility for the accident is clearer to discern, there are still repercussions for leaving the scene of an accident. Most notably there is the inability to independently document what led to the onset of their injuries should someone ultimately file an injury claim.

Calling for Assistance

A person should always check on all passengers and drivers to assess the extent of any injuries. If any serious injuries have occurred, someone should immediately call for medical assistance, rather than attempting to assist and possibly cause more injuries and/or potential liability.

Although it may seem obvious, someone should also take caution to call the police, even if it is determined no one has sustained severe injury, death, or significant property damage. Contacting the police is an important step to take after a car accident case in Miami Lakes, as it can establish a line of evidence to put toward the claim.

When police arrive, someone should not only obtain the name of the responding officer, but their badge number as well. This information will be useful in gaining access to the police report in a case, which is important to substantiate any personal injury claim.

Obtaining Witness Names

It is important to speak to all witnesses who were at the scene of the accident. This includes both those who were involved in the accident, such as passengers and drivers, as well as bystanders. Someone should also exchange contact information with everyone at the scene, should someone need to get their statements in the future. In doing so, someone should get as much information as possible including their name, phone number, address, email, date of birth and other relevant details that might make getting in touch with them easier.

In speaking with witnesses, it is important to be cognizant of what someone says. Someone should avoid stating anything that can be perceived as an admission of guilt, because that may result in legal liability, even in no-fault states like Florida, where comparative negligence predominates.

This type of negligence assigns percentages of responsibility to the different parties involved in an accident instead of placing all the blame on someone versus another. It can greatly impact how much someone’s insurance company deems itself to be financially responsible for damages in an accident.

Speaking with Insurance

An important step to take after a Miami Lakes car accident is to contact the insurance company. Someone should contact their insurance company as soon as possible to inform them they have been in an accident. It is important to give them accurate and honest information to ensure their claim will be accepted. Failure to disclose information or intentionally mislead the insurance company could result in their claim being denied.

It is important to take pictures of what occurred at the scene of the accident and get multiple estimates as to what the extent of the damage is. This will be necessary for the insurance company to determine the extent of the damage to their vehicle because of the accident, and how much compensation to award.

Sometimes, someone cannot come to an amicable resolution with their insurance company. Thus, mediation or a lawsuit may be necessary.

Insurance companies are quick to offer settlement offers, generally of the low-ball variety. A person should make sure that the offer they accept accounts for both current and future injuries, as well as covers the extent of any damage to their vehicle.

They should also avoid talking to any other insurance company without being in the presence of their own insurance company and/or attorney.

Contacting an Attorney

If you or someone you love has been injured in an auto accident, an experienced injury attorney can counsel you as the appropriate steps to take to preserve your rights in your case. They also can advise you as to how to maximize compensation possible under the law.