There are an estimated 6 million auto accidents in the United States annually. Each year, there are more and more cars sharing the roads. Interestingly, an average person is likely to be involved in 3 to 4 accidents during their lifetime. The first few moments after a car accident can be incredibly frightening, disorientating, and confusing, especially if you’re injured.
It’s no surprise car accidents can be incredibly complex matters to navigate alone. Consider retaining the services of one of the many dedicated car accident lawyers. However, as a starting point, we have compiled this handy guide outlining the best steps to take immediately after an accident.
Florida Is a No-Fault State
Unlike other states in the US, Florida is a no-fault state. This means you will be seeking compensation from an insurance company. Unfortunately, for some people who experience extensive injuries and loss, the financial burden exceeds insurance policy limits. If this is the case, civil action is required to seek the remaining compensation from the liable party.
The Five Most Important Things You Need to Do After a Car Accident in Tampa
Below, you will see a simplified list of five important steps to take if you have been in a car accident in Tampa. If you follow these guidelines, a full recovery could be possible.
1. Stay at the Scene of the Accident
It is vital that you stay at the scene of the accident. Florida law has precise requirements drivers need to follow. Leaving the scene of an accident is illegal and is catastrophic to your pursuit of compensation.
You are also required to exchange information with those involved in the accident, and you need to provide reasonable assistance to anyone who is injured. Should you not do these things, you could face misdemeanor or felony charges.
2. Check If You Are Injured and Seek Medical Care
Check yourself for injury and whether you require medical attention. Even if you don’t think you have to see a doctor or visit the hospital, you should. With most insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits, you will need to provide evidence to show the injuries you suffered were directly caused by the accident.
Seeing a medical professional will ensure you have doctors and hospital records that will help to support your claim.
3. Call 911
Whether you have been injured or not in a car accident in Tampa, you need to call 911. When you call 911, they will send a police unit to the scene of the accident. The officer on scene will generate an official police report, which will be a vital piece of evidence in your civil claim.
Additionally, sometimes this report will contain the police officer’s opinion of who is at fault for the accident, which could be crucial information to have.
4. Gather Insurance Information
After you have called the authorities, you need to gather the insurance information of those involved in the accident. Once you have this information, you can get in contact with your insurance company to report the accident.
However, don’t give any official statements or recorded interviews until after speaking to an attorney. This is because an insurance company is a for-profit business and will look for any means to reduce or deny your compensation. Allow your lawyer to handle interactions with the insurance company.
5. Contact a Tampa Personal Injury Attorney
- Consulting a Tampa personal injury attorney can help alleviate the stress of the situation when you know a professional is in your corner.
- Your attorney can gather witness statements, police reports, medical history, quantify the value of your losses, and negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. If you choose to seek compensation by filing a claim, they can also help you navigate the various state laws and legal rules and regulations.
- Justice and a Full Recovery is Possible
- Following the guidelines in this article will help you put your car accident behind you while making a full recovery. Auto accidents are never a pleasant experience, and they can leave you with financial and emotional stresses. If you are struggling to cope with the aftermath of an accident, consider hiring a Tampa personal injury lawyer. They will guide you each step of the way and work doggedly for justice in your name.