When an accident occurs, there’s a good chance you’ll be dazed for a little while afterward. Since it isn’t something you deal with often, you may not remember the steps you need to take immediately following to ensure that you set yourself up for a good outcome with the insurance company. Even though it seems like these three actions are no-brainers, you would be surprised at how difficult it is to remember basic tasks with the adrenaline surging. Make a cheat sheet of these action items and keep them in your wallet, purse or glove compartment so you’ll always remember what to do in the wake of an accident.
1. Survey the Situation
After determining that you are not hurt, you may want to spring into action. One of the first things you should do is get a picture of where the cars are at the time the accident stopped. All too often, people are in a rush to get out of the way of other traffic, so they quickly move their cars before documenting their exact location. This may become a crucial piece of evidence to give to a tampa accident attorney in case an insurance company needs help in reconstructing the accident.
2. Take Videos
You are likely snapping away with your phone, but try and take a short video of the scene and the cars. Even if you’ve already moved them out of the way, you need a record of the condition of the vehicles, the damage to any personal property (mailboxes, street signs, etc.) and even the status of the other driver and passengers. Video is a great way to capture the behavior of the other driver, especially when it comes to a personal injury claim. If you have a video showing them walking around with no signs of pain or discomfort, this may refute what they will later allege.
3. Get Bystander Information
Even though Florida is a no-fault state, getting witnesses to the crash and aftermath may still prove valuable down the road should a lawsuit from any party get filed. A third-party account can make or break a liability decision, even in a no-fault situation. If someone suffers a severe injury or there is destruction of property over a certain amount, the injured party can seek reimbursement from the person deemed responsible. Thus, every bit of documentation may come in handy.
Knowing what to do after an accident may prove useful no matter what the situation. When you need help sorting out the details, consider talking to an attorney who specializes in motor vehicle accidents.