No matter how carefully you drive in Florida, there are times that accidents are not your fault. It is impossible to avoid the bad choices of others, particularly in a vehicle. When you are in an accident that is not your fault, the steps you take immediately after can greatly influence your future and your financial stability.
According to State Farm, the first thing to worry about is if anyone is hurt. If the accident is small, all vehicles should be moved off the road to a safe place. Turn on your hazard lights, put the vehicle in park and turn the vehicle off. If you have flares, warning triangles or cones, put them up to warn other drivers. Check for injuries and if there is any concern about anyone involved, call an ambulance. Even in a minor accident, the police should be called, as a police report can make a huge difference in an insurance claim.
Now it is time to collect as much information as possible. The following should be included on your list:
- The names and contact information of any passengers or drivers
- The make, year and model of the vehicle
- License plate numbers and driver’s license numbers
- Policy numbers and insurance companies
- Contact information for any eyewitnesses
- The location or address of the accident
You may also want to take pictures of the accident if you can do so safely. Unless your insurance agent or police are asking, you should avoid signing anything. Do not admit fault even if you think the accident was your fault.
Even if it seems like there are no injuries, you may want to visit a doctor or hospital to be checked out. Some injuries can manifest later, and you do not want to end up paying for medical bills if you were not at fault in the accident.
This is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.