What To Do After A Car Accident In Florida
Nearly 250,000 traffic accidents occur in Florida each year, according to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles. Careless driving is the most common cause of car crashes. Often, this means that the driver failed to take road conditions into account. Car accidents happen unexpectedly, so it’s important to know what to do at the scene when they occur. Florida law may require you to take additional action as a result of the accident.
At The Accident Scene
The most important step after a car accident involving an injury is to remain at the scene until you provide the other drivers with the information on your driver’s license. You must also report the accident to a law enforcement agency if it resulted in injuries or caused more than $500 in damages. These agencies include the Florida Highway Patrol, the sheriff’s department or the local police department.
Move your vehicle if it is blocking traffic. This may require you to call a tow truck or get assistance from someone at the scene if your vehicle is not drivable. Leave a note if you hit an unattended vehicle and report the accident to law enforcement. The note should contain your name, address and license plate.
What Could Happen In The Aftermath
Car accidents may occur when a driver violates traffic laws. Investigating police officers may file charges against a driver involved in an accident if they believe this is the case. If you are charged, you will have the opportunity to present a defense in traffic court, which will determine the penalties, if any.
You may be required to attend a traffic collision avoidance course as part of a sentence for a traffic violation. You can take one in several ways, including in a classroom, via video and online. Course providers such as the Florida Drivers Association will issue you a certificate that you will need to show the court to receive credit for the course.
Seek Legal Representation After An Accident
Car accidents often involve severe injuries that result in long-term disability, such as head trauma, amputations and spinal cord injuries. They can also result in death. Insurance companies are motivated to reduce claim settlements, which they accomplish with a variety of tactics. Victims of car accidents often must go to court to obtain compensation proportional to their injuries. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to enlist experts to reconstruct the accident and provide testimony. An attorney may also investigate liable parties to determine if they were intoxicated.