Orlando Car Accidents: Do You Know What to Do?
By Team at Zimmet & Zimmet, In Personal injury
Today, the Sunshine State is home to more than 14.6 million licensed drivers. Each year the state welcomes more than 131 million tourists to the area.
One of the most popular destinations for visitors to the state is Orlando. Along with having a population of over 280K, the Orlando area also hosts more than 75 million tourists. That’s a lot of people and a lot of vehicles on the roads.
This influx of traffic and people means accidents are more common in Orlando than in many other places in the state and the nation. Because of this, it’s important to know what to do and what to expect if you are involved in an accident.
Don’t Leave the Scene of the Accident
Regardless of if the accident is your fault, you should never leave the accident scene. If you leave and cause injuries, you face up to five years in prison and a fine of $5,000. If someone dies because of the accident, it is considered a first-degree felony, which results in your license being revoked for a minimum of three years, and mandatory four years in prison.
Even if it is clear the accident was the other party’s fault, you need to stay put. Talk to the other driver, police, and witnesses. This may help you recover compensation later on.
Seek Medical Attention and Check for Injuries
According to the state’s Personal Injury Protection legislation, it is mandated that every licensed driver have insurance to cover any injuries that occur during a car accident. This is true, no matter who is considered to be at fault.
If you expect to receive benefits, it is necessary to report the injuries you suffered within 14 days of the accident. Be sure to seek medical care. Even if you don’t think you were injured, being checked out is highly recommended. This will ensure you don’t have any hidden injuries, and the documentation of seeking medical care can be used as evidence if you try to recover compensation.
Report the Incident to the Police
In Orlando (and the entire state of Florida), any accident that involved significant injuries or extensive property damage requires police intervention. A new way to report accidents is online; however, doing it in person is best for more severe situations.
Gather Information at the Scene of the Accident
When involved in an accident, it’s a good idea to gather as much information as possible at the accident scene. This includes the phone number, address, and other related contact information of the other driver involved. While gathering this information is important, it’s a good idea to keep any additional interactions and communications to a minimum. Never apologize for the situation, as this may be taken as an admission of your guilt.
Along with talking to the other driver, it is good to speak to any witnesses to the accident. If someone saw what happened, they may be able to help later on if you are trying to acquire compensation. At least record the witnesses’ names and contact information.
Acquire Accident-Related Evidence
One of the most helpful types of evidence you can gather when at an accident scene is photos. Take pictures of the positions of all involved people, debris, road conditions, and even your injuries. The sooner you can capture these pictures, the better you will remember what happened and have proof to backup your statements.
Don’t Talk About the Accident on Social Media
It may be tempting to discuss your accident on social media. However, you should avoid doing this. Even if it seems innocent, anything you post to social media may be used against you if your case has not been settled. While avoiding talking about the situation on social media at all is best, you should at least avoid doing this until the case is settled.
Find an Attorney
In some situations, if you are involved in an accident in Orlando, the fault will be clear, and settling the case will be simple. However, this is not always the situation. Sometimes, though, it will be more complex. If someone denies fault or if the insurance company has refused to pay compensation, you may need help.
With these cases, having the help of an experience reputable personal injury attorney is invaluable. This legal representative will take over the case and help ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Remember, car accidents can result in long-term, serious injuries that may impact the rest of your life. You need to ensure you receive the compensation deserved to take care of all current and future costs related to the accident you were involved in. This is an area where attorneys can be invaluable since they know the law and how to build a successful case.