Imagine you’re driving along … and BAM! Your vehicle has collided with another. This kind of scenario happens every day — a lot actually, especially in Florida. According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ “Crash Dashboard,” there were more than 401,000 crashes during 2021. With so many people on the road and myriad distractions available, these stats aren’t likely to slow down anytime soon.
Now whether it’s just a minor fender-bender or a serious crash, there are steps you should take to make sure you’re covered — in more ways than one.
Step 1: Immediately after the crash, take assessment of yourself and any passengers for injuries.
Step 2: If possible, move your vehicle off the roadway to a safe spot out of traffic’s way.
Step 3: Call 911/law enforcement. This way the incident can be documented and medical professionals can be dispatched if injuries are possible.
Step 4: Take photos of the scene, your vehicle, other vehicles, witnesses and anything else that can help piece together what happened. It’s key to help determine who is at fault.
Step 5: Do NOT leave the scene. It might take law enforcement considerable time to arrive and address the incident. Be patient.
Step 6: Exchange insurance information with other parties involved in the wreck. That info also is available on the crash report prepared by responding law enforcement.
Step 7: Contact your insurance company and file a claim. They will start a process right away to get your vehicle inspected by a local repair facility, gather estimates and ultimately determine whether your car is worth fixing or totaling. Florida drivers are required by law to carry Personal Injury Protection and Property Damage Liability. Click here for more details on what’s required.
Step 8 (if necessary): Contact an attorney if you have suffered injury and/or have any questions involving the crash report, insurance company response, etc. Keep in mind, you have only 14 days to be seen by a doctor after an auto accident. After that time, you risk losing insurance benefits covering personal injury.
No matter what end of a traffic crash you’re on, it’s an extremely stressful situation where details matter. Be prepared, stay alert and most importantly — drive safe!