You rely on your car for work and personal use, which is why it is disturbing to think about the frequency of car accidents in Miami. Statistics gathered by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reveal that there were 64,151 motor vehicle crashes in Miami-Dade County in 2018, causing injuries to 31,072 victims. That is around 85 people every day who were hurt, confused, and overwhelmed in the aftermath of a collision.
Because it is hard to think logically under the circumstances, Miami car accident attorneys typically recommend that you follow this checklist when you have been injured in a crash.
Pull Over Safely
Get out of traffic and harm’s way immediately by pulling over at the first available location. Do your best to calm down as you assess the situation, especially the nature and severity of your injuries. You should keep in mind that adrenaline may have kicked in, which could distort the level of pain that you are experiencing.
Call 911 or Police
Based on the level of your injuries, you may need to call 911 for emergency response. There are additional car accident scenarios that may require reporting the car accident, such as when:
- There was more than $500 in property damage;
- The accident involved a commercial vehicle; or,
- Another driver appeared to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
In a non-emergency situation, you do not need to report the auto collision from the scene. However, you do need to file a report within 10 days after the incident.
Exchange Contact and Insurance Information
No matter how many other vehicles are involved and who you believe is at fault, you should obtain names, phone numbers, and insurance details from all drivers. Limit your conversation to this information, do not make any statements regarding how you think the accident happened, and never apologize.
Gather Evidence at the Scene
While your post-accident efforts may be limited depending on your injuries, you should try and collect as much information from the scene as possible. Take pictures and video with your cell phone, making sure to capture:
- Property damage to all other vehicles;
- The physical conditions at the scene, such as traffic signals, intersections, the number of lanes of traffic, and others; and,
- Nearby buildings that may have security cameras installed.
Do Not Agree to a Settlement or Sign a Release
In the days following an auto accident, you may receive a call from another driver’s insurance company. No matter how attractive the offer may be, do not accept a settlement offer to resolve your claim without first speaking to an attorney. Likewise, you should refuse to sign any documentation, especially a release of your rights.
Trust a Miami Car Accidents Lawyer with Legal Tasks
These tips should get you through the immediate aftermath of an auto collision, but you should get legal assistance from an attorney for additional tasks. To learn more about how we can help, please contact Gerson & Schwartz, PA to set up a no-cost consultation at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach.
(image courtesy of Luke Van Zyl)