Everything You Need to Know to Do After a Car Accident

What to Do After a Car Accident

If you are a frequent driver, you already know that driving on the roads, interstates, and highways around the state of Florida can be treacherous. Because of the geography, weather conditions, and population size, Florida continues to rank as one of the highest traffic accident states nationwide.

Because of this, it’s not only important to follow the rules of the road, it’s also critical to know exactly what to do after a car accident. No one expects to get into an accident when they turn on their car, but being prepared and knowing what to do after a car accident can make the process a lot easier and less stressful. That’s why we wanted to provide this guide which explains everything you need to know to do after a car accident. 

Everything You Need to Know to Do After a Car Accident: A Step-by-Step Guide

The following is a brief step-by-step guide to help you know exactly what to do after a car accident. If you’ve recently been in a car accident, it’s important to review this guide to know what steps you can take to make sure your insurance company is not taking advantage of you and your situation. It is strongly advised to contact a Lauderhill injury accident clinic before contacting your insurance company after an accident. For the best possible outcome that protects you, your wellness, your rights, and your expenses, be sure to follow these important steps. Below is a list of everything you need to know to do after a car accident:

1 – Stop. Take a Deep Breath. Never Drive Away After a Car Accident

There’s no doubt that car accidents can be scary. In some cases, drivers will have the urge to drive away. Regardless if it’s because you need help, you’re unsure of the consequences, or you think the damage is minor — never drive away from the scene of a car accident

2 – Ensure that You and Your Passengers are Safe

Do a quick check to make sure that you and your passengers are safe. 

3 – Secure the Scene of the Accident

If it’s possible, move the car to a secure place on the side of the road so you’re not blocking traffic and you’re in a safe spot. If this isn’t possible, turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers that you’re unable to move. Remain in your car or somewhere safe along the side of the road. 

4 – Call the Police 

This is an essential step to remember to do after a car accident. Regardless if your accident is minor or severe, call the police. You’ll need to document what just took place for a variety of reasons and law enforcement officers are the only ones that can provide a complete accident report. In cases of minor car accidents, many drivers will be tempted to exchange information and handle the aftermath of the accident themselves. This is never advised, as many issues could potentially arise after an accident that aren’t easily detectable at this moment in time.

5 – Provide as Many Factual Details to the Police as Possible 

When the police arrive, the officers will go to each person involved in the accident and ask for them to explain what took place. It’s possible that due to the intensity of the crash and your emotional reaction to the situation, you may not know or not remember what happened. If you do not know or do not remember, explain that to the police. It is never a good idea to guess or assume you have certain details regarding the crash. If you don’t know, it’s perfectly okay to tell that to the officer at the scene of the accident. 

6 – Be Aware of How Car Accident Injuries Emerge

One question that you will certainly be asked by the officer is, “Are you hurt?”. It’s important to take a full-body scan and carefully assess your injuries. Every driver needs to remember that injuries can set in hours, days, or even weeks after a car accident. When an accident happens, your adrenaline will be pumping, which can make your body feel as though nothing is physically wrong. Days later, you may experience soreness, neck or backaches, migraines, or other physical pain. Even if you’re not experiencing any pain at that moment in time, it’s always better to tell the officer that you’re not sure if you’re injured rather than simply stating “no”.  

7 – Document Your Own Record of the Accident

To be sure that everything is properly documented, it’s always a good idea to take pictures if possible. If your phone can record or take pictures, take a few shots of the damage to your car. If you’re injured, don’t hesitate to take a video recording of how you’re feeling, how your body feels, what hurts, or where the pain is. This can be helpful later on when seeking medical attention and speaking with an attorney.

8 – Contact a Lauderhill Injury Accident Clinic Before You Contact Your Insurance Company

Out of everything you need to know to do after a car accident, this step is the most important. When you go directly to your insurance company, they can take your statement and possibly use your words against you. Their goal is to file your claim and provide minimal coverage. An injury accident clinic works differently and puts you, your rights, and your health first. Contacting a Lauderhill injury accident clinic not only assures you that you’ll receive the medical attention you need, but they can also help you consult with an attorney. This attorney can help guide you to take the appropriate steps to assure that you’re being compensated. Remember, out of everything you need to know to do after a car accident, calling the best Lauderhill injury accident clinic should always be your next step after calling the police and before calling your insurance company.

Common Questions After a Car Accident

Now that we’ve covered the recommended step-by-step process of what to do after a car accident, let’s take a look at some of the most common questions that drivers have after a car crash. 

What do you do after a minor car accident?

Some drivers may think that a “minor” car accident doesn’t require a police report or can’t result in injuries. However, this is one of the most common mistakes that drivers can make. First, even if you believe an accident is minor, it’s incredibly difficult to assess a car’s damage and detect injuries at the scene. Even mild to moderate fender benders can lead to whiplash, a herniated disc, body soreness, neck or back pain, or even nerve damage. You may not feel it directly after the accident, but it’s likely that physical pain can set in hours, days, or even weeks later. It’s important to speak with a medical professional after all car accidents, even if they’re considered “minor”. It’s also common for vehicles to have unforeseen issues after a minor car crash, such as problems with a wheel or tire alignment. Just because you can’t see major scratches or dents, it doesn’t mean your car hasn’t been damaged after a minor car accident.

What happens to uninsured drivers who get into car accidents?

Even though it’s illegal to drive in most states without car insurance, some drivers still do it. Car insurance can be expensive and car insurance companies are infamous for steadily increasing rates, not offering proper compensation, and mishandling claims. Despite the nationwide issues with car insurance companies, you should always be insured when driving and owning a vehicle. If you’re uninsured and you cause a car accident, you’ll likely have to pay out of pocket to cover the damages to your car and the other car or cars involved. If someone hits you, they’ll most likely cover the damages to your car. However, it’s important to remember that you can receive a penalty, fee, or traffic ticket for driving without car insurance. Let’s say after a car crash you decide that you do want to purchase car insurance, car insurance companies will not cover any recent car accidents prior to the purchase of your plan. 

Should you use a mobile phone to take photos of a car accident?

Absolutely. After a car accident, taking photos of your car and the other cars involved can be very helpful when it comes to determining who’s at fault or if there are any lawsuits filed after the car crash. If you’re physically able to do so and your phone is capable of taking photos, it is highly recommended to document as much as possible after a car accident. If another driver falsely accuses you of causing the accident, your photos or video recordings can work as evidence to prove your innocence. In addition to photographing the damage to the vehicles, it’s also helpful to take photos of any property that was damaged, skid marks on the street, or debris in the road that may have influenced the crash. 

How long do you have to get a lawyer after a car accident?

Most states set a statute of limitations or a “deadline” on the amount of time you have before filing a personal injury claim or a property damage claim after a car accident. For instance, the state of Florida has a statute of limitations of 4 years from the date of the car accident. Therefore, if you were in a serious accident 3 years ago and you’re still experiencing chronic pain that was a result of that car accident, it’s crucial to contact a Lauderhill accident injury clinic as soon as possible. They can provide the medical attention and treatment you need as well as connect you with an experienced lawyer who can assist you in your personal injury claim. Even if you were in a serious car accident recently, it’s never recommended to wait to see what happens with your injuries. Get the medical care and the legal assistance you need now. 

Do you need a police report to prove fault in a car accident?

Determining who is at fault in a car accident can be tricky in some cases. It’s the police officer’s job to complete an accident report and that typically includes how the car accident happened. Some police reports will clearly identify who caused the car accident, and some may require lawyers or insurance company representatives to get involved to dispute what happened and who was at fault. However, it’s important to remember that even if a police report states that you were the one at fault, you can dispute this with the help of an experienced lawyer. It is possible for a law enforcement officer to make mistakes when writing up a car accident report. A police officer may assume one driver was at fault due to the positioning of the cars or the type of damage done to the vehicles. This is why it’s so important to document the accident yourself with a camera or mobile phone. With the help of an experienced lawyer and your own record of what happened at the scene of the accident, you have a good chance of fighting a false claim. 

Does your insurance go up if you damage your own car?

It is possible to place a claim on your own car after you damage it yourself. For instance, let’s say you backed into a tree or accidentally hit your garage door and no other cars were involved. If you have some type of comprehensive coverage on your car insurance plan, you can file a claim for this type of damage, but it’s likely that your car insurance will go up. If you only have liability insurance, you won’t be able to file a claim if you damage your own car and you’ll have to pay out of pocket for the damages. 

Why does insurance go up when someone hits me?

It’s frustrating, but indeed a fact. Yes, in some cases a driver’s car insurance rates can go up after getting into an accident that was not their fault. It’s a complex and confusing protocol, but an undeniable way for car insurance companies to make money. However, this happens more with some car insurance companies over others, and it doesn’t necessarily happen all of the time. For instance, let’s say you’re driving to the grocery store and someone hits you and drives away. The chances of your car insurance going up in this scenario are high. But if the driver stays, provides proof of insurance, and there is a valid police report proving that you were not at fault, your insurance rates may not go up. 

What happens if you don’t report a fender bender?

States have different laws when it comes to not reporting fender benders or minor car accidents. In Florida, it’s a crime to not report a car accident that’s resulted in injuries, death, or over $500 worth of property damage. The problem with that is, most drivers can’t properly or accurately assess the amount of damage done to a car. You may believe that it’s a simple scratch or dent, only to find it out it can cost up to $1,000 to repaint the car or replace a bumper. Also, remember that assessing injuries after a car accident is even more difficult. As we mentioned above, neck or back pain, whiplash, or other accident-related injuries may not appear for days. If you don’t report a fender bender, it can make it more difficult to be compensated for your injuries. 

How much should I ask for in a car accident settlement?

If you were injured in a car accident and you believe you should be compensated by the at-fault driver, you need to work closely with a lawyer. How much you should ask for will depend on the extent of your injuries and other factors involved in your car crash. Only an experienced lawyer can help you determine the amount you should ask for in a car accident settlement. Contacting a Lauderhill accident injury clinic should be your first step. The medical professionals work closely with lawyers to determine the extent of your injuries, the necessary medical treatments, the cost of medication, physical therapy, and other medical expenses. Contact a Lauderhill accident injury clinic today to learn more about how they can help you and your car accident settlement.