Car crashes are stressful any way you slice it. If you were ever involved in a simple fender bender, you probably remember how confusing it all felt.
Since car accidents happen all the time, it never hurts to prepare yourself in case you ever get in a car crash Jacksonville, FL. Being familiar with the steps you should take following an accident is your best bet to recover the maximum amount of financial damage caused by this event.
Without further ado, it’s time to break down the exact steps you need to take if you got in a car crash Jacksonville, FL.
1. Call 911
As soon as you get in a car crash Jacksonville, FL, the best thing to do is call 911 right away.
The thing most people feel after a car accident is a rush of adrenaline along with the shock.
If you’ve ever taken a first aid course, you probably remember that the state of shock is so powerful that it numbs any pain. For instance, you might have broken an arm or had a concussion without even noticing anything is wrong.
Keep your cool and give the operator your exact location. Don’t skimp on the details. If you’re on a highway, provide the operator with details such as mile markers or any landmarks you can spot. By helping them pinpoint the exact location of the crash, you’re sparing them from a lot of trouble and ensuring that the assistance can arrive as fast as possible.
However, don’t go overboard by describing exactly what happened or explaining who caused the accident (there is a time and place for everything), you should only provide the 911 operator with the description of the scene and the injuries.
2. Report the accident to law enforcement
Not every car crash Jacksonville, FL, needs to be reported to the police. For example, there are no legal requirements to report a fender bender. However, we still recommend that you do so.
According to the law, you have 10 days to report a car crash Jacksonville, FL, if there are factors such as:
2. Loss of life
3. Signs of intoxication
4. If a vehicle requires towing services
5. Property damage of over $500
6. If a driver fled a scene
7. If commercial vehicles were involved
In our experience, you shouldn’t waste any time reporting a car accident, and we’re going to get to those reasons later. Even if the accident seems minor, you should report it. This is especially true if the other driver fled the scene or they were intoxicated.
3. List down all the details you remember
While waiting for the police to arrive, use your time to list down all the details you can remember about the car crash itself. These details might include things such as the direction you were driving in before the collision, which color were the traffic lights, etc.
If you have any recollection of the behavior of the other driver. Were there any signs of a DUI? Were they driving recklessly or over the speed limit? Maybe the other driver was using their phone in traffic?
Don’t forget to exchange the insurance and vehicle details with the other driver. This includes the license plate, vehicle identification number, as well as the make and model of the vehicle, and the year.
If the other driver is not the owner of the vehicle, ask for the owner’s full name and contact details.
If you were involved in a hit-and-run, try to remember even the most minuscule details about the other car. Take note of the make and model of the vehicle and any parts of the license plate number. This is all the information that can help police find the driver who fled the scene.
4. Gather evidence
It’s time to do some sleuthing yourself. Start by taking detailed photos or videos of the scene from various angles. Capture any road obstructions and weather conditions, as well as any traffic signs.
You should also take photos of the exterior and interior damages to the vehicles and any debris that is a part of the scene. Don’t forget to capture any skid marks.
If there are any witnesses still at the scene, ask them to provide their account of the accident. You can use your phone to videotape their statement. Make sure to take their full name and contact information. Your insurance company might contact these witnesses for extra information about the accident.
If the other driver is cooperative, you can also take a video of their account of the accident too.
All of this evidence is necessary to ensure that the other driver doesn’t change their story or try to misrepresent the facts in the future.
After that, the hard part is over. The only thing to do next is to notify your insurance company about your car crash Jacksonville, FL, so they can determine the extent of the damage as well as who is at fault in the accident.
Can you sue the other driver?
A car crash Jacksonville, FL, is a different game altogether. If you’re a citizen of Florida, you’re probably aware that this state is considered a ‘’No-Fault’’ state. This means that regardless of who was at fault in the accident, their insurer will pay for the damages.
The law requires vehicle owners to have personal injury protection insurance of at least $10,000 that covers the lost wages and medical treatment. Along with that, vehicle owners must also have property damage liability coverage amounting to at least $10,000.
Regardless of the circumstances, your insurance will cover you. However, if the other driver was negligent, you can sue them.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer
If you were involved in a car crash Jacksonville, FL, and you took all the steps we suggested in the article, you’ll have a stronger case. The fact that you reported the accident significantly boosts any insurance claim you might file for any injuries related to the accident.
However, you also ensure that you don’t run into any problems down the road. If you haven’t reported the collision, the other driver might claim the accident never happened, or even worse, claim that you caused it.
While filing a claim in Florida is simple due to the fact it’s a no-fault state, difficulties still might happen or you might receive an unfair payout. This is why you should hire a personal injury lawyer if you were involved in a car crash Jacksonville, FL, to pursue fair compensation on your behalf.