Accidents can happen even with the most careful of drivers. The actions you take immediately after a car accident are critical. If you are involved in an accident or collision in Florida, you must be prepared to act responsibly and in accordance with state law. After safety matters are dealt with, the two most important factors to remember after a car accident is to save evidence and document the extent of your damages and injuries.

First, as a responsible driver, you must never leave the scene of an accident. Leaving the scene of an accident could have serious consequences such as having your driving privileges revoked, your license suspended, or even being charged with a crime. You should do your best to provide immediate assistance to other motorists, passengers, or pedestrians that may have been injured in the accident. Take extra care when attempting to move an injured person, and if possible, wait for an ambulance to arrive.  Notify 911 to report any injuries and call for medical assistance. Even if the accident did not involve injuries, inform the local police. It is important to stay calm in the aftermath of an accident. If possible, make sure that you are out of danger and not blocking any oncoming traffic. If you are unable to move, call or wait for help.

You are required to provide certain information to the other parties involved. Fellow motorists, passengers, or pedestrians involved in the accidents are required to share this information as well. If there are any witnesses to the accident, it is important to gather their information in case you need their statements later. The key information that is needed from all involved parties is: (1) name, address and contact details; (2) driver’s license number; (3) license plate numbers of involved vehicles; and (4) auto insurance information for involved motorists. Taking pictures at the scene of the accident is also advisable, as you can use this information to document the extent of your damages.

Moreover, you are required to report your accident to the Florida Highway Patrol if your accident involves: (1) death or injury; (2) a hit and run; (3) an intoxicated driver; or (4) property damage over $500. You are not required to file a crash report if the investigating officer has done so. Sometimes these reports are overlooked, however, and in that case you are required to file a crash report within 10 days of the accident. This report must include detailed and current information regarding your insurance coverage. The DMV will then cross-check this information with the insurance company shown on the report. In the event that you did not have liability insurance at the time of the accident, your driving privileges will be suspended.

If you are injured as a result of a car accident, contact a personal injury attorney who can assist you with your claims. At Wittmer|Linehan, we understand that while being in a car accident can be scary the aftermath can be just as frightening and confusing. Let our group of experienced accident attorneys assist you in understanding your rights and maximizing your recovery. Our attorneys have over 35 combined years of experience dealing with Sarasota car accidents, insurance companies, and their attorneys.