A Step-by-Step Guide
No one ever plans to be in an accident. The nature of a car crash is that it is unexpected – and certainly unwelcome. The sad fact is, in 2020, there were 340,556 auto accidents that resulted in 212,143 injuries and 3,328 fatalities across The Sunshine State. The chances are that you will become involved in a car crash at some time in your life. Therefore, it pays to be prepared.
Ligori & Ligori, Attorneys at Law in Tampa, Lakeland, Ocala and Key West, want you to be prepared in the event you are involved in a vehicle accident. Follow this step-by-step guide to make sure you take care of yourself and other personal matters.
In the event of any type of vehicle accident, you should remember that you have certain legal rights that are not to be violated, regardless of the circumstances. This means even if you are clearly at fault, responding law enforcement officers or other parties are not allowed to violate those rights. Among those rights, and perhaps the most important at the time, is the right to remain silent.
Under no circumstances should you apologize, admit guilt or discuss who caused the crash with anyone at the scene or after the event, including law enforcement. A simple “I don’t know” or “I don’t wish to speak without my attorney present” should be sufficient answers to any questions.
Anything you say or report to law enforcement officers can and will be used in the case and could come back to cause complications. Always discuss these matters first with an experienced Florida personal injury attorney.
What to Do at the Scene of the Car Crash
There are several actions you should take, if possible, at the scene of the car crash immediately following the accident. If your injuries prevent you from taking any of these actions, ask a bystander to do them for you.
Assess Injuries & Call for Help
You should always assess your own injuries first to see if you can move or locate any bleeding. First work to ensure breathing is unobstructed, then try to staunch any bleeding with pressure. If you are uninjured or only slightly injured, try to assess the injuries of others who were involved in the accident. Try to make sure they can breathe and stop any bleeding.
Of course, you or someone nearby should call 911 for emergency assistance. Whomever calls 911 should stay at the scene and remain on the telephone until the dispatcher allows you to hang up. They may need to obtain more information about the accident from you or provide emergency instructions.
Always leave the crashed vehicles in place after an accident and get yourself out of harm’s way. This means out of traffic and away from damaged and possibly dangerous vehicles.
You should collect all the information you can at the scene of the accident. The best option is to snap a quick photo of important documents. This includes:
- Names of all the drivers involved
- Driver licenses of all drivers involved
- Vehicle registration (auto tags) of all vehicles involved
- Insurance information from all people involved
You should also use your phone to take pictures of the scene from as many angles as possible. Try to include pictures of the scene itself, each vehicle showing damages and any skid marks or other relevant factors (water, puddles, gravel or obstacles).
When to Call Ligori & Ligori, Florida Personal Injury Attorneys
Of course, your first priority is to care for yourself and any injured loved ones. Get the medical treatment you need, and then call Ligori & Ligori, Attorneys at Law, as soon as possible. The accident investigation will begin before you leave the scene, so you need to contact an attorney at once to protect your rights.
Car crashes and other vehicle accidents can quickly become complicated, and your insurance company cannot be relied upon to act in your best interests. Call Ligori & Ligori as soon as possible after an accident to explore your legal options.
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