If you have been injured in an auto accident in Orlando, FL, it’s essential to follow a few basic steps in the direct aftermath of the accident. These steps will both ensure your safety and improve your chances of pursuing a personal injury claim.
- Stay at the Scene, Secure Your Physical Safety, and Call the Police/EMTs: If you have been injured in the accident, err on the side of safety and stay put. Florida laws require you to stay at the scene of an accident if possible if the accident caused any injuries or $500 or more in damage. If you or another driver or passenger is injured, remain in place while someone contacts the police/EMTs. Contrary to popular belief, calling 911 improves your chances of being able to make a strong personal injury case. Always cooperate with first responders when they take accident reports.
In some cases, the police will either fail to arrive at the scene of an accident or will fail to take a police report. If that is the case, you should absolutely file a police report yourself, specifically detailing everything you can recall about the accident. This can be completed online, and should be done as soon as possible after the accident.
- If Possible, Gather Information and Document the Scene: If you are capable of safely getting out of your vehicle and moving around the scene of the accident, you should do some independent fact gathering and documentation for your case.
Important pieces of information to obtain include:
- The time, date, and location of the accident, as well as any other important details (i.e., weather conditions)
- The name, contact information, and insurance information of the other party or parties in the accident
- The name and contact information of any witnesses, as well as a brief recording of their recollection of events (which can be taken via video or voice memo)
- If the accident was a hit-and-run by the other party, make sure to immediately write down everything you remember about the other car, the accident, and the driver—even small details, like dents or bumper stickers.
Important things to document (i.e., with your cell phone camera) include:
- The entirety of the accident scene
- Damage to both vehicles (including close-ups, ideally from different angles)
- Location of each vehicle after the accident
- License plate numbers
- Traffic pattern at the time of the crash
- Videos of the other person’s state if you suspect a DUI (i.e., getting evidence of slurred speech, etc.)
- Get Medical Treatment as Soon as Possible: When it comes to auto accidents in Orlando, FL, it is essential both for your health and for your personal injury case that you get medical attention and treatment as soon as possible. Even if you do not believe you have been badly injured, you should absolutely get checked out by a medical professional as soon as you can after the crash. In many cases, the adrenaline that floods the body and puts it into a state of shock right after a major accident can mask symptoms of larger injuries. Getting medical treatment ensures that these injuries are spotted, even if they do not immediately feel as bad as they are. It also ensures that you are doing your due diligence and getting treatment as soon as possible, so that no one can later claim that either you weren’t injured, or you worsened your own injury by not getting medical attention.
Importantly, in order to receive compensation from your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy, Florida State Law requires you to report a medical injury within two weeks (14 days) of the accident. If you’ve gotten into an accident in Orlando, FL, the sooner you report the injury, the better it is for your health and for your case. However, two weeks is the deadline for PIP claims.
It is also important to know that this first medical visit and original diagnosis must be made by a medical doctor (MD), a doctor of osteopathy (DO), a dentist (DMD), or a chiropractor (DC); or treatment can be provided by a hospital or accredited medical facility.
Either before or after you have completed these steps, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced, knowledgeable personal injury attorney who specializes in auto accidents. In Orlando, Florida, the auto accident personal injury attorney to call is Attorney Michael Reese at Reese Legal. Call today for a free consultation on your personal injury case.
I Was Injured In A Car Accident Near Orlando, What Steps Do I Need To Take If I Want To File A Personal Injury Claim?
The first step after being injured in a car accident in Orlando is to see a doctor immediately, especially if you believe you were injured a result of the automobile accident. In 2013, the laws in Florida were changed and now require that you seek initial medical treatment within 14 days of the accident. There is also a separate requirement that the original diagnosis must be made by a medical doctor (MD), a doctor of osteopathy (DO), a dentist (DMD), or a chiropractor (DC); or treatment was provided at a hospital or a medical facility. You should also report your accident immediately to the police. Many drivers tend to exchange information and then go on their way. It is extremely important that the accident is reported to the police immediately. Read More
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