If you’ve been in a car accident, you know all of the hassle that comes along with it. From injuries and medical bills to property damage and dealing with insurance companies, it can be a lot to handle, especially if you are injured. Here we’ll go over the 3 basic steps you need to take after a car accident and highlight 3 things you may not know that could be important later on. And while this guide is quite helpful, you should also speak with a Tampa car accident lawyer about your specific accident to determine the best course of action.
1. Call the police to report the accident.
Obviously, it’s important to contact police after an accident. However, the other driver may try to convince you not to, especially if the accident was their fault. They may apologize or tell you they’ll pay for the damage out of pocket. Don’t fall for it. After a car accident, you must call the police to get an official accident report. Otherwise, the driver may give you false information and you may never see them again, leaving you responsible for the damage they’ve caused.
IMPORTANT: This is especially important since you don’t know the actual extent of the damage—to your vehicle or other property or even to yourself. You’ll need medical attention to determine the extent of your injuries and an appraisal for the damage to your vehicle. Therefore, it’s impossible to make an on-the-spot agreement with the other driver about them paying you out of pocket. Bottom line: always get a police report.
2. Seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
If you are injured after a car accident, you should seek medical treatment as soon as possible—even if your injuries are minor. In addition to getting the treatment you need, this will also serve as evidence of the injuries you sustained due to the accident.
IMPORTANT: Even if you feel fine, you should get a precautionary exam to make sure you are not injured. After a traumatic event like a car accident, you could be in shock. This means you could be injured and not even realize it. It’s also important to realize that not all injuries are visible. A medical examination is necessary to ensure you’re treated for any injuries you may have.
3. Call a Tampa car accident attorney.
Call a car accident lawyer in Tampa as soon as possible to discuss your case. You will need to provide an account of what happened to the police, but you should not speak to anyone else about the accident until you’ve spoken with your attorney. Remain calm and keep your statement simple. It’s common to be upset or even confused immediately after an accident which could cause you to make an incorrect statement while in this condition. Your lawyer will be able to give you best advice before making any official statements.
IMPORTANT: Auto insurance companies will contact you soon after the accident. This is a tactic used to get a statement from you that may not be the most accurate or up-to-date. For example, you may state to the insurance company that you have only minor injuries and then later find out after a medical exam (or after a few days have passed) that your injuries are worse than you thought. In this case, the insurance company may use the statement you made earlier against you.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Tampa
If you have been in a car accident, contact an experienced Tampa car accident attorney at the Capaz Law Firm. We’re on your side and will fight to hold the at-fault party accountable. Call (813) 440-2700 for your free consultation.