Clip this article and keep it in your glove-box. The advice here may seem obvious, and you probably know all of it already, but in the heat of the moment following an accident, even the best of us may forget.
1. Check yourself and your passengers for injuries. If you have even the slightest doubt about how badly someone is hurt, call an ambulance.
2. Get to safety. Move your car out of the way of traffic if you can. Turn off the engine, put the car in park, and turn on your hazard lights.
3. Call 911. Even if the accident is minor, a police report is critical to the claim process and helps establish who’s at fault.
4. Don’t admit fault. While you should exchange information with the other driver, be careful not to say too much. Anything you say could be misinterpreted, especially if it sounds like an apology.
5. Document the accident. Make written notes about what happened, anything the other person may have said, and if you’re not too injured and it’s safe to do so, take pictures.
6. Get to a doctor/hospital If you’re injured, you should see a doctor as soon as possible, even if you didn’t have to call an ambulance. (In Florida, you lose certain rights if you don’t see a doctor within 14 days.)
7. Notify your insurer. This almost goes without saying, but it’s so important, it can’t be over-stated.
After you’ve had a few hours (or days) to collect yourself, also be sure to protect your legal rights by contacting a competent attorney who knows the ropes when it comes to personal injury law.