Important Steps And Legal Help Following A Car Accident In Tampa
If you've been involved in a car crash there are some steps you need to take before contacting a Tampa accident lawyer to ensure that you're not going to have more serious legal consequences. These steps are very important and can make all of the difference in a court case even if you're at fault for the car crash.
Stay At The Scene Of The Car Crash
Never ever leave the scene of a car crash until the police have arrived and dismissed you. If someone was injured or killed it's even more important, you could be charged with a hit and run accident if you do and this only further complicates things. It is your legal obligation to remain at the scene until a police officer dismisses you.
Check On All Of The Drivers And All Of Their Passengers
Before you ever begin to look your car over or the other cars over, check on the medical condition of the other drivers and their passengers. If anyone has been injured call and get medical help dispatched to the scene immediately. Do not move anyone unless it's required to get them out of the traffic or another hazard.
Call Police Immediately
Always call the Tampa police department. Many people make a huge mistake of just exchanging information and not calling the police. This isn't wise. There needs to be a police report filed. Obtain the name and badge number of the police officers that respond to the scene.
Never admit guilt at this point. This should be reserved for a discussion with you and your attorney.
Exchange Information With The Other Parties In The Accident
You'll need names, phone numbers, and addresses as well as drivers' license numbers and insurance information. Again, don't admit guilt. Don't apologize or anything as this could be construed as admitting guilt. Try to be very cooperative and workable. Avoid any arguing or discussion of the type. Save that for courtrooms.
Talk To All Witnesses
Ask every witness at the scene what they saw. Get their name and phone number and ask if they took any photos of the scene. If they did, ask them to text you the photos.
Call Your Insurance Company
Immediately call your insurance company. Be cooperative and let them know what happened, your injuries and if you took any photos (use your cell phone and take photos if at all possible. Take these from every possible angle). Answer the insurance company's questions and explain your side of the situation. Don't lie to the insurance company, this may cause you to be denied coverage. Make sure that the insurance company gets a copy of the police report.
Keep Track Of All Of Your Medical Treatment
Keep track of any doctors or physical therapy visits due to the accident. File copies with your insurance company. Keep a copy for yourself as well. You may need these documents in court. Keep track of all of your injuries, any time missed from work, expenses in getting to and from your doctor's visits (bus fare etc.). List anything that you are currently unable to do that you were previously able to do and how this has affected your life.
Take pictures at the scene of the accident from every possible angle. Be sure that you get all vehicles involved in the car crash as well. Make notes to yourself and be ready to show these to your insurance company as well as your attorney. This can help to show the extent of damage and prove injuries to you or anyone else at the scene.
Get Repair Estimates
Get repair estimates for vehicles and any property that was damaged. Get these in writing to show to insurance companies, your attorney, and the judge if need be.
Don't Discuss The Incident Until After You've Gone To Court
You never know when someone will use this information against you. Don't talk to the other insurance company, direct them to your insurance company or your attorney. Let your attorney know that they called you. Also, be sure to not sign anything other than a ticket. Make anyone wishing you to sign something go through your attorney. Following these steps can greatly help your legal case after a car crash.