Best practices for post accident actions

In our prior post, we noted how black ice presents serious hazards to Florida drivers when temperatures fall below freezing (32 degrees). While it is not expected that such a cold snap will return this winter, there is a distinct possibility that accidents will occur for other reasons (e.g. driver error).

It is expected that in 2014, thousands of Florida drivers will be involved in crashes that lead to property damage, injuries and even death. Because of this, we find it prudent to dedicate this post to highlight some of the basic things drivers should do immediately after an accident.

Exchange insurance information  – Drivers should be vigilant about getting the other driver’s insurance information so that it can be communicated to their insurers. If at all possible, try to get other identifying information, such as telephone numbers, addresses and physical information.

Stay in your vehicle –  This is especially important if the accident has occurred on a busy highway or expressway. Essentially, people put themselves in danger of being hit by passing cars if they exit their cars, even if they are trying to hail people for help. If you need to call for help, try using your cell phone.

Be careful of what you say – No good deed goes unpunished, so refrain from admitting fault or saying that you’re sorry. It is appropriate to ask if the other person wants (or needs) help, or to have small talk while authorities arrive to review the situation.

For additional information about best practices after an accident, an experienced lawyer can help.

Source: KCRA.com, “What you should do after a car accident,” January 6, 2014