| Read Time: 3 minutes | Auto Accidents

If you are in a car crash, the moments following the incident can be overwhelming and confusing. Knowing what steps to take can make a significant difference in protecting your rights and ensuring a smoother process ahead. In this guide, we’ll outline three essential steps to follow after a car crash, providing you with valuable car crash legal advice to navigate this challenging situation.

Step 1: Ensure Safety and Seek Medical Attention

The first and most critical step after a car crash is prioritizing safety. Check yourself and others involved for injuries. If anyone is injured or there’s significant damage to the vehicles, call 911 immediately. Even if injuries seem minor, seeking medical attention promptly is essential. Some injuries may not be apparent immediately but could have serious consequences if left untreated.

Under Florida law, drivers involved in a crash resulting in injury, death, or property damage must report the collision to law enforcement. Failure to do so can result in penalties. Florida Statutes section 316.065 requires drivers to report crashes to the local police department, county sheriff, or Florida Highway Patrol if they involve injury, death, or property damage exceeding $500.

Step 2: Exchange Information and Document the Scene

After ensuring everyone’s safety, exchange information with the other parties involved in the crash. Obtain their names, contact information, insurance details, and vehicle license plate numbers. Additionally, gather contact information from any witnesses at the scene.

Document the scene by taking photos of the vehicles’s positions, damage, road conditions, traffic signs, and any relevant factors that may have contributed to the crash. This documentation can be crucial later when dealing with insurance companies and legal proceedings.

Florida law requires drivers involved in a crash to provide their name, address, vehicle registration number, and insurance information to other drivers and parties involved. Failure to provide this information can result in penalties and legal consequences.

Step 3: Notify Your Insurance Company and Seek Legal Consultation

Promptly notify your insurance company about the crash. Provide them with accurate and detailed information about the incident. Be cautious when discussing the crash, and avoid admitting fault or making statements that could be used against you later should a dispute arise over liability.

Seeking auto accident legal advice is highly recommended, especially if the crash resulted in injuries or significant property damage. An experienced car accident attorney can review your case, explain your rights, and help you navigate the legal process. They can also assist in negotiating with insurance companies and pursuing legal claims if necessary.

Consider seeking legal advice, especially if:

  • You sustained severe injuries or permanent disabilities;
  • The other party disputes liability or denies responsibility;
  • You experience delay, denial, or undervaluation of your insurance claim; or
  • There are multiple parties involved or complex legal issues.

Under Florida law, drivers must carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Property Damage Liability (PDL). PIP covers medical expenses and lost wages resulting from injuries sustained in a crash, regardless of fault. PDL covers damages to another person’s property caused by the driver’s negligence.

Why Is a Car Crash Legal Consultation Important?

Consulting with a legal professional helps you understand your rights after a car crash. A legal professional can help you understand what compensation you may be entitled to for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. The statute of limitations in Florida for filing a personal injury lawsuit after a car accident is two years from the crash date (Florida Statutes § 95.11). However, consulting with an attorney as soon as possible is advisable to understand your rights and options.

Dealing with insurance companies, filing claims, and negotiating settlements can be complex and overwhelming. A legal consultation helps you navigate these processes effectively, ensuring you don’t miss critical steps or rights.

A lawyer can assess the evidence, witness statements, and applicable laws to determine who is responsible for the accident. Determining liability in a car crash can be complicated, especially when the fault is shared or multiple parties are involved. 

A legal consultation prepares you for potential legal action if you experience denial of your insurance claim or the settlement offered is insufficient. An attorney can advise you on the likelihood of success in a lawsuit and the best course of action for your unique circumstances. 

Contact Us for Car Crash Legal Advice

If you’ve been involved in an accident and need car crash legal advice, don’t hesitate to contact us at James Horne Law, PA. Taking immediate action after a car crash can significantly impact the outcome of your case. Prioritize safety, document the scene, notify your insurance company, and seek legal consultation to protect your rights and navigate the legal process effectively. Our experienced team understands the nuances of Florida car accident cases and can provide you with personalized legal representation. Protect your rights and seek the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a consultation.

Author Photo

James “Jay” Horne is an AV-Preeminent rated aggressive litigation attorney, who focuses his practice on medical malpractice, personal injury and family law matters. He has successfully represented clients from case inception through trial and appeals in state and federal court. Jay was born and raised on the Suncoast. He is married and proud father to a one year old son. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, golfing and distance running during the cool months.

Rate this Post
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars