A Lawyer’s Guide to What to Do After a Car Accident
Car accidents are a horrible occurrence but they happen to even the best car drivers from time to time. If you have been in a car accident and are disoriented and at loss regarding what you should be doing from a legal standpoint, here is a guide to help you navigate this difficult situation. When an accident has taken place, you need to think about the best options for you and how you can protect yourself legally.
No To A Hit And Run
The hit and run occurrence is always poorly received because it almost always signifies guilt or bad intent on the part of a driver. Even if you did not hit the car and were the one that got hit or if responsibility for the action is shared by two parties, you should still stay your ground and wait for the police to arrive.
Do not attempt to leave the scene or to move any part or component that forms part of the crime scene the police will want to record or look into. If you are seriously injured you should still call the police or ask a passerby to do so without attempting to drive away or get a lift yourself. Ambulances are usually quite speedy so you have better chances if you wait for an ambulance for yourself or the people in the other vehicle.
Do A Preliminary Cordoning Off
If the accident has occurred during the night you want to turn on the car lights to flashing mode, or use an SOS signal with a mobile torch or flashlight to signal to other cars that an accident has occurred and there is an obstruction in the road. By following this and the previous course of action you have a good chance of reducing what may be termed as a felony to a misdemeanor in the eyes of the court.
Never Leave Out A Police Report
You may make any number of inadvisable mistakes if you are confused after an accident but never make the mistake of not having a police report made. It helps establish your part in the event and it is very difficult to file a valid insurance claim without a proper accompanying police report.
Gather All The Information
Take a few minutes to sort out the timeline and sequence of events in your head so you can tell the police everything when they arrive. If you can, record details you think you may forget on a note on your phone or a piece of paper and take pictures. Never make a generalized statement you are not qualified to make such as commenting on the cost to repair a car or whether or not you are injured.
Many injuries like internal bleeding can manifest hours or even days after the accident and if you go on record saying you are not injured, you could have an issue cashing your insurance or getting damages in court.
Medical Care, Insurance Filing
Get yourself looked at in a hospital and get treatment for any injuries sustained. Have a friend or someone call your insurance in the meantime for both the car and for medical expenses.
Consult An Attorney
Consult an attorney as soon as you can because you may not know all your rights or the legal ramifications for any of your actions. Preemptive consultations in such cases are always helpful and can prevent a case from being filed against you. Search for great lawyers locally such as Orlando criminal defense attorneys as they will have the most knowledge about local courts and relevant laws.