After a motor vehicle accident, you may be confused and upset. It can be difficult to know exactly what to do to protect yourself legally and to help any future litigation in the matter.
But you should do at minimum three important things to help you with the aftermath of the accident. Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles explains the steps, including contacting law enforcement and gathering information.
File an accident report
If you decide to file a lawsuit or make insurance claims, you will need an official report of the accident. You usually will have to get the actual report later, but ensuring officers are on the scene will help to verify the details they gather are accurate. In addition, you should stay at the accident site to avoid criminal charges until you speak to officers even if you suffered no harm. You need a formal account of what happened in case legal matters arise in the future.
While the officers who report to the scene will gather a lot of information, you should do your own information gathering if possible. If you are not seriously injured, you should begin quickly taking pictures and documenting all information about the other party, including the person’s name, address, insurance details and license plate number. You also should talk with any witnesses and get their contact details.
Most accidents will result in some type of damage claim. Having the proper information on hand when you file any claims will make the process easier. It can also help you if you end up in court over the matter.