Take these steps following your car accident

After an auto accident occurs, there are certain things that you need to do to remain compliant with Florida laws.

The law requires that you stop after becoming involved in a collision with another vehicle. If there are injured people in either vehicle, you will need to dial 911 to summon emergency medical services and police to the scene.

If a person’s injuries appear life-threatening and you can render aid to them without worsening their condition, e.g., stopping bleeding with a towel, you may do so while waiting for the professionals to arrive.

The police will require certain information from all parties involved in the wreck:

— Driver’s licenses
— Proof of insurance
— Vehicle registration papers
— Names and contact information of any witnesses

All of this information will be entered into the police report, and you can usually get a copy of it within a few business days after the collision.

Grab your cellphone and snap a few pictures at the scene if you are able to. Get pictures of the positions of the cars after the wreck and any obstructions in the road that may have contributed to the collision.

Even if you don’t appear to have suffered injuries initially, it is important to go see your doctor or be treated at the Emergency Room to have the accident and any injuries documented officially. If bruises appear later, get pictures of them.

It’s a good idea to compose a brief narrative of the events immediately preceding the accident and the accident itself. Do this while it is fresh in your memory so you have something to reflect back on later when the events may not be as clear. Your narrative should include the date and time of the accident, the weather and road conditions and all information that you have about the driver(s) of the other vehicle(s) and their make and model.

Contact your insurance company as soon as you can following the wreck, even if you do not believe that you were at fault. Failing to notify them in a timely manner could cause a denial of payment on any claims that could arise from the incident.

If the other party is the one deemed at fault and you are not satisfied with their settlement offer for your damages, you may need to retain a personal injury attorney to pursue compensation for you.

Source: Automobile Insurance Planners, “Important Steps To Follow If You Are In An Auto Accident; Including How To File A Claim,” Abbey Wagner, accessed Oct. 07, 2015