Steps After an Accident
Car accident statistics in Hillsborough County alone hover around the 20,000 per year number. Alcohol related crashes, pedestrian accidents, bike accidents, and vehicle to vehicle accidents are inclusive.
While we hope you never have to use this guide, these steps are important to think about. This guide is specifically for those “oh I didn’t think of that” moments, like when you forget your phone, or have a dead phone battery.
Even more important than this guide, is a fine tuned insurance policy before an accident. Minimum coverage insurance is required by law, but often times you can make small modifications to your policy to better protect you or your family, but we’ll get into that with a later post. Before we get the post written we can review your car insurance now, just call us at 813 229 3232. We’d be honored to go over your policy and make sure you have proper coverage for you and your family should you ever need to file an insurance claim.
The list of things to carry in your car at all times:
- Insurance Cards
- Digital Camera (either on a phone, or carry a separate digital camera with a fresh battery in your glove compartment)
- A list of helpful numbers, such as the local police department, your attorney, and your insurance agent (or insurance company phone number)
- A basic first aid kit (for minor injuries, etc)
- A small notebook and a pencil (in case your phone is dead, or you forgot it on your commute)
Steps after an accident:
- 911. Obviously, if you are involved in a serious accident, you need to call 911.
Call the Police and file a report.
Call the local police, non-emergency number if you are able and not seriously injured.
Hillsborough County Sherrifs Office: 813-247-8200
Tampa Police Department: (813) 231-6130
Assess your condition, and make a note of any pain, whiplash, or movement in the vehicle you may have had due to the accident. Injuries to the neck and spine are sometimes not even noticeable at the time of the accident.
Again, file a police report. If there is any damage at all to your vehicle, even a small dent – file a police report so you can prove who is liable for that damage should there be a dispute. Your attorney will give you the best advice based on what occurred at the accident to proceed with a dispute, see step 3.
File a police report even if someone backs into your door at the grocery store, or if someone lightly taps your bumper and there is a visible dent. Even if you are not injured, file a police report for any damage to your property (vehicle, or bodily harm).
- If you are not seriously injured, take photos of the damage to your vehicle, yourself, any passengers, and the scene. Do not step into or obstruct traffic while getting your photos, just make sure you thoroughly document the scene. (Phone not charged? This is where you grab your handy, charged digital camera out of your glove box. See the checklist of things to have above, always be prepared.)
- Call your Attorney. We can be reached at 229 3232 at all hours. Call us any time.
Give your attorney brief details of the scene and explain what happened. Discuss any pain you might feel and they can refer you to a doctor if you need care (you only have 14 days to receive treatment in the state of Florida), and make sure you know how to file a proper claim with your insurance company if you need to. They can also explain if you should seek compensation from the “at fault” driver.
- Document, take notes. Document what happened in your notebook and wait for police to arrive so they can write the details in the police report. Document as many details as possible. The notebook is also handy to write down appointments for your doctor visit, or followup meetings with your attorney to go over your case. (We suggest paper because phone batteries can die.) You can always transfer notes to your phone later.
You can print this guide, and keep it in your glove box.
We hope this guide helps.
Butler & Boyd – Personal Injury
813 229 3232