If you are in a car accident in Florida, hopefully you will not sustain any serious injuries, such as burn injuries or spinal cord injuries. Even a car accident that does not result in fatalities, though, can leave you with injuries that cause you pain or create lost income or huge medical bills for you. If you have been paying car insurance, you may believe that you will automatically have all the help you need in an accident. Unfortunately, if you have been in an accident, dealing with an insurance provider can be difficult. The insurance provider will want to not spend more money than necessary. If you have been in an accident, therefore, you should:
1) Report any car accident to the police if there are any injuries or substantial damage. If there is any possibility of criminal charges, it is important to alert the police. Alerting the police is also important in more serious car accidents because it starts a paper trail that can help you in the event of a lawsuit.
2) Take reasonable steps to protect others and your car at the scene of the accident. Call for emergency help for anyone who has been injured and try to help anyone who has been hurt. Move your car out of traffic to prevent more damage. If your car is damage after the accident because it is in traffic, it may be hard for you to make claims about damage.
3) Start documenting right away. Exchange identification with anyone involved and get the names and badge numbers of any emergency personnel on the scene. Write down the details of the accident and take pictures if you can. Get the phone numbers and names of any witnesses. This can be invaluable in the event that an insurance provider tries to dispute the specific details about an accident.
4) Never accept money or gifts after the accident and do not sign anything. Do not verbally agree to anything and do not admit fault.
5) Contact your insurance provider right after the accident and file a complete claim. Do not complete any body work until your insurance company agrees to pay for all the repairs. When you do get repairs completed, check the repairs to make sure they are completed correctly. Get a receipt from the auto shop and make sure that the address and name of the auto repair shop are on the receipt. Your insurance provider might need this piece of information in order to process your claim. Make sure you understand any other documentation your insurance company needs for your claim. Also, ask your provider what their policy is about supplemental repairs. If the repair shop finds more damages after the original estimate, the policy on supplemental repairs might help you get coverage for these repairs.
6) If you feel that a dispute might occur with your insurance company, avoid signing anything and contact a qualified Florida attorney right away. An attorney can help ensure that you get the compensation you deserve to cover all medical costs and property damage.