What Should I Do If I Was Involved in a Car Accident in Orlando?
Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be challenging. You need to act quickly, but you also need to be very careful about what you say and do. If you aren’t careful, you could jeopardize your legal rights, and this means you could end up without the financial compensation you deserve.
The Orlando car accident attorneys at Colling Gilbert Wright know how a devastating car wreck can affect almost every aspect of a person’s life. If you were hurt in a collision that was caused by someone else’s careless or reckless behavior, you deserve compensation for your physical, emotional, and financial losses.
7 Steps to Take if You Were Involved in a Car Accident in Orlando
What should you do if you were involved in a car accident in Orlando? Here are seven steps you should take to protect your legal rights:
1. Report Your Car Accident to the Police
If you have not done so already, you should report your car accident to the police. Not only is this important for protecting your legal rights, but it is also required by Florida law. In Florida, you must report a car accident to law enforcement if:
- The crash results injury or death,
- The other driver flees the scene of the crash,
- The other driver was drunk behind the wheel,
- The crash involved a commercial vehicle, and/or
- The crash resulted in “apparent damage” of at least $500.
2. Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
Once you report your car accident to the police, one of your next steps should be to report the accident to your insurance company. Similar to reporting the accident to the police, reporting the accident to your insurance company is generally required—although in this case under the terms of your policy. Since Florida is a “no fault” insurance state, filing a personal injury protection (PIP) claim with your insurance company will be your first source of financial recovery, and filing your claim promptly will minimize the risk of unnecessary complications.
3. Seek Medical Treatment
If you are experiencing pain or other symptoms after your car accident, you should go to the doctor. This is also something you should do as soon as possible. If you don’t see a doctor promptly, this could make the recovery process more difficult, and it could potentially create issues for your auto insurance claim as well.
4. Retain As Much Information as Possible
When seeking financial compensation for a car accident, it is important to retain as much information as possible. Among other things, this means that you should:
- Keep all photos and videos you took with your phone at the crash site
- Keep the other driver’s insurance and vehicle information in a safe place
- Keep your copy of the police report in a safe place
- Write down everything you can remember about the accident
- Start a file where you keep all of your accident-related medical and insurance records
- Start a daily “pain journal” where you record your pain levels and your injuries’ other day-to-day consequences
5. Learn More about Your Situation
As we mentioned above, Florida has a “no fault” insurance law, and this has important implications for your car accident claim. To help yourself make informed decisions as you move forward, we encourage you to learn as much as you can about your situation. Our explanation of what constitutes a “serious injury” (and why this matters) is a good place to start, and we encourage you to read about the benefits of hiring a lawyer as well.
6. Be Proactive, But Be Careful Too
When you need to recover your losses after a car accident, being proactive affords the best chance to recover just compensation as quickly as possible. You should not rely on your insurance company to move your claim forward, and you should not assume that your insurance company will treat you fairly. You need to be careful about various other aspects of your claim as well. For example, if you ignore your doctor’s advice or return to work too soon, these mistakes could prevent you from recovering the full compensation you deserve.
7. Talk to an Attorney about Your Car Accident
Finally, if you were injured in your car accident, you should talk to an attorney. Filing a successful insurance claim requires in-depth knowledge of Florida law, and you also need to know if you have a claim outside of auto insurance. You can get started with a free consultation; and, with contingency-fee representation, you don’t pay anything unless you win.
Were you involved in a car accident in Orlando? If so, we encourage you to contact us promptly for a free, no-obligation consultation about your legal rights.
Call (800) 766-1000 now to speak with an Orlando car accident attorney at Colling Gilbert Wright. We handle car accident cases on a contingency-fee basis, which means you don’t pay any attorney fees unless we achieve a favorable outcome in your case.