Being involved in a car accident is always frightening, but you could feel overwhelmed if the auto crash occurs in the heavy traffic of Miami streets. Unfortunately, these incidents are becoming more common. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of collision fatalities in urban areas has risen considerably over the last 10 years, and has surpassed the number of deaths from rural accidents every year since 2016.
Despite the chaos and vehicles speeding around you, it is essential to take proper precautions after a Miami car accident. Getting necessary medical care should be a priority, but other important considerations include:
- Take a Deep Breath: If you are not knocked unconscious by the impact of the crash, your heart may be racing and your adrenaline skyrocketing. Your first instinct might be to jump out of the car out of a combination of aggravation, anger, and frustration. It is important that you do NOT act on this instinct, as you could be putting yourself in grave danger from the traffic coursing around you. Instead, take a deep breath, and then do a quick check to determine whether you are hurt and how badly.
- Move to a Safe Spot Nearby: Depending on your physical condition and that of your vehicle, move your car to the shoulder of the road. Stay as close to the scene of the accident as possible, but make sure to get out of the way of oncoming traffic. Immediately put on your emergency hazard lights to alert other motorists to your presence, and put on the safety brake.
- Call 911: Even if you believe the injuries to yourself and passengers are minor, it is wise to get the police involved. You will need to file an accident report anyway, since Florida law imposes the duty to do so whenever the incident causes injuries or property damage. Plus, the police report generated by officers could be helpful to your legal claim, especially if the responsible driver received a ticket for a traffic violation.
- Obtain Essential Details: When you can safely approach the other motorist, exchange basic contact information. You should also obtain:
- The make, model, and license number of all vehicles involved in the crash;
- Insurance information; and,
- The names and contact details of any witnesses.
- Gather Visual Evidence: Grab your smartphone and take pictures of the scene and surrounding area. Make sure to include the span of road way or intersection, traffic signage, road conditions, the damage to vehicles, your injuries, and any other relevant details.
Contact a Miami Car Accidents Lawyer Right Away
Once you get out of harm’s way and handle the basic tasks after an auto crash in heavy traffic, it is critical to reach out to an experienced attorney as soon as possible. The legal process for recovering compensation is just beginning, and you will need assistance going forward. Our team at Gerson & Schwartz, PA can help with filing a claim and other steps, so please contact our office to discuss your circumstances. We can set up a no-cost case evaluation at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL.