Car Crash Checklist – What to Do Immediately After an Auto Accident
If you’ve been involved in an accident, then you doubtless know it can be a confusing, stressful time, and it can be hard to figure out what steps to take first. To help you be better prepared in case of a crash, the car accident lawyers of Tampa’s Barbas Law have provided a checklist that outlines the most important steps to take immediately following one. Please feel free to print this page out and keep it in your vehicle so that if you are involved in an accident, you have it readily available.
- Contact the police and medical personnel – If someone has been injured in the crash, the first thing to do is call 911 to get them treatment. You should also call the police so they can come make an accident report and collect statements.
- Stay where you are – Even if your car is still drivable, stay at the scene of the crash. You are allowed to move your car to avoid obstructing traffic, but Florida state law requires that all involved parties must stop and remain at the scene of the accident until the police arrive.
- Take pictures – Before you move the cars, take pictures of their positioning. Document any damage inside and outside the car, and take pictures of skid marks if there are any. Even if you don’t have a camera with you, cell phone photos can make a big difference in giving the judge a better idea of what occurred and what the scene looked like.
- Exchange information – If you aren’t badly hurt, get out of your vehicle and exchange information with the other drivers involved in the crash, including names, addresses, and insurance information. Note their license plate number(s) as well.
- Talk to witnesses – Witnesses aren’t held to the same standard as drivers involved in a crash, and they can leave without penalty. However, try to talk to them and get their phone number so that if you need it, you can get third-party confirmation of what occurred. This verification can make a big difference in the outcome of your case.
- Consider contacting a lawyer – At this point, you may also want to contact an experienced Tampa car accident lawyer so they can work with the other drivers’ insurance agencies and represent you if any legal issues arise. Most offer complimentary consultations and can answer any questions you have over the phone.
- Report the accident to your insurance company – The earlier you let them know what went on, the faster they can get started on your claim. However, you may want to avoid giving statements to the insurance companies until you have consulted with your lawyer.
A car crash in Tampa or any other city can be a tough experience for anyone, but by preparing yourself and making sure you know what steps to take following the accident, you can reduce stress if one should occur. If you’d like more information, or you’ve been in an accident and want to talk to a Tampa personal injury lawyer about your case, contact Barbas Law today.