No one ever really anticipates being the victim of a car accident. As such, many are unfamiliar with what to do following the impact. One step many underestimate the importance of is contacting the police following a collision. Though it may not seem necessary, filing a police report after a collision and before reaching out to a Pasco County, FL car accident lawyer is essential to helping you recover the compensation you deserve. The following blog explores how to proceed following a collision and why it’s necessary to contact the police.
What Steps Should I Take After an Accident?
After a car accident, your natural reaction may be to panic. However, it’s necessary to do everything possible to remain calm and collected to ensure you gather all the information and receive the help you need. The first step you should take is to assess the injuries sustained and contact emergency services. Though the operator will dispatch police to the scene, you should also ask for emergency medical technicians to treat the injuries endured, even if they seem minor.
It’s critical to note that you should not say anything that can be twisted as assuming responsibility for the collision. Unfortunately, you may find that even something as innocent as apologizing to the other driver can make it seem like you are taking ownership of the collision.
If you are physically able to, you should also take photos and videos of the accident scene. This is crucial to collecting evidence to help prove negligence on behalf of the other driver. Be sure to capture the damage to your vehicle, how the cars are positioned on the road, any injuries you sustained and additional elements that seem relevant.
Do I Really Need to File a Police Report?
When involved in a collision in Florida, the other driver may try to talk you out of calling the police. However, this is mandatory for accidents in which someone is hurt or injured, the damage to the vehicle exceeds $500 or a driver seems intoxicated. Even if it’s just a minor fender-bender, it’s in your best interest to contact law enforcement. Some injuries may not present themselves immediately, so it’s recommended to contact the emergency services to receive medical attention and a police report.
If you do not report the accident and then attempt to file a lawsuit, the defense can claim the injuries you sustained do not warrant compensation since you did not contact the police after the collision. Additionally, contacting the police allows you to provide your account of what happened, which law enforcement will document. Having your statement recorded can help you refresh your memory before the suit.
As you can see, there are many considerations you must make when you’re the victim of a car accident before you even contact a lawyer. One thing’s certain, however – the necessity of an attorney should not go unnoticed. At the Law Offices of Matthew J. Jowanna, we understand the impact a car accident can have on the lives of victims. That’s why we’re dedicated to fighting for you. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you during these difficult times.