What You Should and Should Not Do After a Car Accident in Miami, FL
August 16, 2021 | Sagi Shaked
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, tens of thousands of motor vehicle accidents occur in Miami-Dade County every year. Hopefully, you’ll never be involved in a car accident in Miami.
However, it’s important to know what you should and should not do if you are involved in a collision. This overview will cover the essentials.
What You Should Do After a Miami Car Accident
After being involved in an accident, you should take the following key steps:
It’s understandable if you’re shaken after a collision. That said, you must try your best to remain calm and collected. Once you’re calm, check yourself and your passengers for signs of injury.
Get to a Safe Location
Move away from traffic as quickly and as safely as possible. Often, it’s best not to attempt to drive your vehicle after a wreck — even if it seems undamaged.
Check the Other Drivers
Check on all other drivers and passengers to confirm they’re unharmed. Once you have, exchange names, contact information, and insurance information. Florida is currently a no-fault state, meaning you will typically file a claim with your own insurance when seeking compensation for your losses after an accident. However, if your injuries and losses are severe enough, you may file an additional claim or lawsuit against the negligent party who caused the accident.
Report the Accident to the Police
Florida law requires drivers to report car accidents in certain circumstances. You don’t want to face legal penalties because you failed to report an accident. You can begin the process of filing a report by calling 911. The dispatcher will send an officer to the scene.
Document the Scene of the Accident
Take pictures of the accident scene and your injuries while you await the police officer’s arrival. You should get the names and contact information of any witnesses at the scene, too. You may even be able to record statements from them. It’s best to get statements as early as possible; a witness’ memory of an accident can fade over time.
Cooperate With the Police
When the police officer arrives at the scene, answer their questions honestly. If you don’t know the correct answer to a question, don’t speculate. Tell them you are unsure.
See a Doctor
You should seek medical care as soon as the officer no longer needs you at the scene. You may be injured even if you don’t see or feel signs of harm. You must see a doctor to ensure you receive necessary treatment early. Additionally, seeing a doctor right away will typically improve your chances of recovering appropriate compensation later.
Once you’ve seen a doctor, report your accident to your insurance company. Keep all records, draft a narrative of the accident, and strongly consider reviewing your case with a personal injury attorney.
What NOT to Do After a Car Accident in Miami
Knowing what behaviors you must avoid after a Miami car accident is as important as knowing what steps you should take.
Don’t Get Angry
It can be tempting to react in anger to any other drivers or pedestrians who you believe caused your accident. Don’t give in to this urge. You must control your emotions to avoid making statements that could harm your chances of recovering compensation.
Don’t Leave the Scene
You should only leave the scene after a car accident if you’re being escorted to the hospital because you need emergency medical care.
Don’t Allow Other Drivers to Leave the Scene
Other drivers involved in the accident may attempt to leave before a police officer arrives. You should ask them to stay at the scene. You can also take pictures of the other drivers’ license plates to ensure you have identifying information if they flee.
Don’t Admit Fault or Give Recorded Statements
You must be honest when speaking with a police officer, but you must also be careful. Don’t say anything that could be interpreted as an admission of fault. Avoid giving recorded or written statements as well.
Don’t Discuss Your Case With Others
It’s wise to refrain from discussing your case in too much detail with others until it’s resolved. You absolutely shouldn’t discuss it on social media.
Need Help After an Accident? Contact an Attorney
You should consider contacting a personal injury lawyer after your car accident to help you recover compensation. Your attorney can help you avoid mistakes that will hurt your claim. Moreover, they can investigate your accident, identify liable parties, and negotiate with insurers for the full range of your damages.
You will increase your chances of a successful personal injury claim by hiring a skilled car accident attorney.