There are approximately 3,287 deaths a day due to car crashes according to the Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT). A preventative measure that you can take as a driver to prevent a car crash from happening is to avoid being a distracted driver. If you need to learn more about Distracted Driving and Florida’s law concerning it, please refer to our article “Think twice about texting and driving” to learn more. In the event of a car crash you should:
- Do call 911.
Even if the collision seems minor and no one is hurt, it is important to have proper legal documentation of the incident. Police officers can speed up the process of exchanging information from each party. If someone is hurt however, it is required that you seek medical attention for the injured and stay with person(s) until help arrives. In addition, if someone is injured or damages to vehicle are above $500, Florida law says that law enforcement must be called.
- Do give your information to the other party.
It is your responsibility under Florida Statute 316.062 to give your name, address, vehicle registration number and license to anyone involved in the collision and law enforcement. Refusing to give your information is counted as a nonmoving traffic violation. In an instance where you may hit another unoccupied vehicle you must leave your name, address and license plate on a note attached to the car and contact local authorities.
- Do call your attorney.
At the scene of a crash your attorney can advise you on information you should collect at the scene such as evidence photos and additional information. Your attorney will also notify you of your rights and additional steps to take concerning injury and/or hospitalization. The attorneys at McIntyre Thanasides Bringgold Elliott Grimaldi & Guito, P.A. can help you. Call us at (844)511-4800 and we can provide you with a course of action.
- Don’t leave the scene.
Leaving the scene of a car accident constitutes a second-degree misdemeanor according to Florida Statute 775.082. The consequences include up to 60 days in jail and a fine. Furthermore, under the Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act, a person convicted of leaving the scene of a crash that resulted in death will receive a mandatory four years in prison according to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV).
- Don’t admit fault.
Unfortunately, you could be charged legally for the words you say at the scene of an accident. Apologizing or admitting fault makes you liable for the situation. Liability makes you responsible for the costs of repairs and medical expenses. In addition, your insurance rate may go up. According to Esurance, the best response to an accident is stating the facts and letting the authorities and insurance agencies determine who is at fault.
- Get helpful witness information if you can.
Many times there are witnesses to crashes who are unwilling to stick around long enough for the police to get there and provide their contact information and a witness statement. Often it is the case that when an officer does arrive, they are dealing with a number of considerations that are unrelated to your crash, and they will not always take the time to speak with every potential witness. If at all possible, if you identify any witnesses, particularly those that have a similar or supporting view of the cause of the crash to yours, you should encourage these types of witnesses to stick around and speak to the police. If they are unwilling to do so, you should at least try to secure their contact information (name, address, phone number) for yourself in order to provide it to the police when they arrive and/or your attorney.
Were you in a car crash recently? McIntyre Law Firm wants to help you! Do not hesitate to call us at (844) 511-4800.