To hold irresponsible drivers accountable, the state of Florida requires drivers to take several steps after auto accidents occur. Although this post-accident protocol might seem unimportant, drivers routinely make several mistakes during this legally mandated process that end up costing them.
What must Floridians do after car accidents?
After motor vehicle accidents, drivers should immediately reach out to local law enforcement. If you don’t know the local dispatch number, it’s fine to call 911 to request an officer. In Florida, the state requires drivers to call law enforcement after all accidents that cause at least $500 in damage, any injury or death.
Even if your accident doesn’t meet these requirements, you must still self-report the accident. Either way, make sure to obtain the other driver’s insurance information, name, address and license plate number. You’ll also want to make sure you never commit the following mistakes.
Admitting to causing the accident
After causing or contributing to an accident, it’s natural to want to apologize to the other driver. Believe it or not, courts have construed apologizing as admitting fault. Whether it’s an outright admission or an apology, avoid these statements at all costs.
Talking to insurance representatives
Insurers require drivers to report car accidents as soon as possible. Not doing so could leave you without coverage or permanent policy termination. While you should always promptly report your accident, avoid talking to insurance adjusters about a settlement until you discuss matters with an attorney.
Putting off a hospital visit
If you plan on asking your insurer to cover your injuries, never delay visiting a hospital. Even if you have a broken leg, for example, that you have undeniable physical proof of, insurers could argue that your injury is less serious than it actually is. This could lead to a lower payout or no money at all.
Whether you find yourself in a minor fender-bender or a life-threatening motor vehicle accident, be careful to avoid making these mistakes. Even if you’ve already committed one of these post-accident slip-ups, an attorney may be able to help you out of this sticky situation.