When you are involved in a car accident, the aftermath can be scary, difficult, and costly. Damage to your car is likely to be a major financial challenge, and if you receive injuries, the ensuing medical bills can add up quickly. Add to this the potential legal matters and additional medical bills if others are injured and you are at fault for the accident. It is important to know what to do immediately after an accident, what the laws are in your state, and how to recoup compensation for which you are entitled in order to make the situation easier on you and your wallet.
First Steps After a Car Accident
After the accident occurs and you have determined you are well enough to exit your car, the first thing you should do is assess the situation. Check to see whether others are injured, both in your car and in any others that were involved in the accident. Assess damage to all cars involved, as well as any property such as trees, guardrails and signs, and building or house structures and property. Call the police to report the accident and wait for them to arrive without leaving the scene. It may be necessary to move cars so they are not blocking traffic, but only do this if you and the car are physically and safely able to be moved.
Understand Your State Laws
The laws pertaining to an accident differ by state, so it is helpful to know the laws that will affect you ahead of time. In Florida, for example, those involved in an accident are generally responsible for their own medical bills if they are injured, regardless of who is at fault, making Florida a no fault state. It is, however, still possible to receive some level of compensation from the guilty party depending on the level of damage to your car and the extent of your injuries. There are also specific circumstances in which the guilty party may have exercised negligence or recklessness that go beyond a minor mistake or other slip in judgment. It is therefore advisable to consult with an accident attorney Tampa if you live in this area. Your attorney can guide you down the legal path to ensure you receive fair compensation.
Car accidents are difficult and often life altering situations that can be made worse when proper steps are not taken to protect yourself from further financial harm. Taking some time to understand the laws in your state can help ease the financial burden and stress related to an accident.