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What To Do After A Car Accident

Every year there are between 10-11 million motor vehicle accidents in the United States, and in Florida alone around two to three thousand people die as a result of these crashes. If you’ve driven a vehicle regularly for more than one or two years, odds are good that you’ve experienced an accident of some kind, although it was likely nothing more dramatic than bumping fenders as you tried to park or misjudging how much room you had while backing out of a driveway.

Still, you may yet find yourself in a collision involving two moving vehicles, and if that should happen there are several important tips you should know regarding what to do and what not to do.

Never Admit Fault

Even if you find yourself in a car accident too minor to demand the police show up, anything you say to the other driver or to witnesses can be used against you in court. Although you may think that you are at fault, you shouldn’t say so immediately because there may be circumstances you don’t know about, such as a faulty traffic signal or what the other driver was doing just before the collision. And yet if you do say at the scene that the accident was your fault, then the judge and the insurance companies may use this admission to close the case without investigating any other possibilities.

Keeping this fact in mind, you should also avoid getting upset if the other driver refuses to admit responsibility even when he or she is clearly the one who caused the accident. After all, it’s likely that he or she has heard this same advice.

Get The Other Driver’s Information Personally

When you exchange license and insurance information with the other driver, make certain you copy their information directly from their cards. If the other driver offers to write down his or her information for you, he or she may take the opportunity to give you a fake name or account number. For this reason, you should also take care to write down the license plate number of the other vehicle.

Be Careful What You Tell The Other Driver

If you are in an accident serious enough to require a police response, you should take care what you say even beyond admitting fault. The police officer will record everything he or she sees as soon as he or she shows up, and anything that happens before then may turn out to be your word against the other driver’s.

For instance, you may end up colliding with another vehicle at night because the other driver didn’t have his or her lights on. If you point this fact out before the police arrive, however, the other driver may take the opportunity to switch his or her lights on, clouding the issue.

If You’re Injured, Get Pictures

If you happen to get injured during a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation depending on its severity. However, you’ll need to prove that the accident caused your injury and the best way to do that is to take timestamped pictures of the damage or else to visit a hospital and hold onto any documents they provide.

Don’t Move An Injured Person Unless You Have To

Many states, such as Florida, have Good Samaritan laws which protect you from liability for any injuries you may cause while performing first aid at the scene of an emergency. However, if for no other reason than the safety of the injured individual, you should never move an accident victim unless he or she is in imminent danger, such as from a growing fire.

Neck injuries such as whiplash are particularly common in vehicle collisions, and by moving a victim you may aggravate the problem. For similar reasons, you should never remove an object embedded in someone’s body, because doing so will only make the bleeding worse.

Even if you’ve done everything right at the scene of an accident, you may find yourself having trouble getting fair compensation from the insurance company for any repairs or hospital bills the accident incurred. As such, it may be worth your while to hire a personal injury lawyer to ensure that you get every cent you’re owed. If you happen to live, work, or were injured in southwest Florida, you should contact All Injuries Law Firm right away and find out just what we can do to help you.