Florida has over 16 million licensed drivers, and each year our state logs approximately several hundred accidents per day. Just about everyone suffers at least one motor vehicle accident in a lifetime – so it is better to be prepared by learning what your responsibilities are should you be involved in a crash.
Most importantly, always stop. Never leave the scene of an accident – even if the other driver does. If anyone is injured, you must contact emergency personnel.
Stay at the Scene and Report the Accident
If you leave the scene of an accident, you have committed a crime. You will receive a citation for this criminal act, and likely be prosecuted for a misdemeanor. Furthermore, the department of motor vehicles may revoke your driver’s license.
Instead, remain at the scene, contact the police department, and report the accident. Any time there is more than $500 in property damage, which is the case for most accidents, you must call and file a police report. Officers will show up at the scene to take your report. If officers cannot make it out to the scene and there are no severe injuries, they may take information over the phone and request that you and the other driver exchange information.
Try to Not Block Traffic
Sometimes you cannot avoid blocking traffic, but if you can, pull your vehicle off to the side of the road. When your car is stuck in the center of the road, let police officers know and arrange for a tow truck to retrieve it as quickly as possible.
Check for Injuries
Check everyone involved in the accident – be it drivers or passengers – for injuries. Do not move a person who is seriously injured and call 911 for assistance. It is a good practice to carry a first aid kit in your car in case you are involved in an accident and stranded on the side of a road with injuries. This enables you to use gauze and other materials to stop any bleeding, and cover any wounds while waiting for an ambulance to arrive.
Share Information with the Other Driver(s)
You are required by law to share your contact information, driver’s license, and insurance information with the other driver – and they must do the same.
You should also take down notes about the vehicles involved, including make, model, color, and license plate. Do not rely on the police report to supply you with this information.
Witness Contact Information
While the law does not require this, it is in your best interest to speak with all witnesses at the accident scene and request their contact information. Then, your attorney can contact them later to get a statement and help get a clear picture of what happened to cause the accident.
Speak with an Attorney After Your Car Accident
To protect your best interests, and to ensure you receive proper compensation for your injuries, contact an injury attorney.
The team at The Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld, P.A. can help you with your automobile accident. We have handled thousands of accident cases just like yours. We have helped many people in your situation receive the compensation they need for medical payments, lost wages, pain, suffering, and property damage.
Speak with our advocates today at 954-677-0155, or request more information online.