Florida is one of the most dangerous states in the country for car accidents. In fact, in 2012, there were 281,340 reported accidents. 2,255 of those accidents involved fatalities, and 198,032 of those accidents involved injuries. Broward County, home of Fort Lauderdale, is the second most dangerous county in Florida. In 2008, there were 26,417 reported accidents in Broward County.
When considering whether to pursue a legal remedy in an auto accident scenario, it is important to consider all aspects of the situation. Many factors come into play during a car accident, including number of cars involved, number of drivers and passengers, weather conditions, whether one or more of the drivers is impaired by alcohol or drugs, speed, size and type of vehicles involved, and more.
It is often hard to consider these factors immediately following an accident as one may be in shock. However, by following some simple tips you can gather enough information to help you prove fault and use ammunition in an auto accident lawsuit.
Prior to an Accident
While no one wants to be involved in an auto accident and it is impossible to predict when one will happen, it is always a good idea to be prepared.
· Keep a cell phone car charger in your car at all times. If you get in an accident, you’ll want to have a phone with adequate battery power to call the police, call your insurance company, notify loved ones, and take photos.
· Keep a copy of your car insurance card and vehicle registration in your glove compartment. The police will want to see these documents when you file a police report.
· If you don’t have a cellphone with a built-in camera, keep a disposable camera in your glove compartment in case you need to take photos of the accident.
· Keep an emergency kit – spare tire, tire jack, tools, flares, water, and snacks.
· Pen and paper. You’ll want to write notes about the accident and give and receive contact information
After an Accident
Your mind will undoubtedly be racing with worries, stress, and even anger. However, by following a few easy tips immediately following an accident, you will be able to build a stronger auto accident case.
- Call 911. Immediately after pulling over following an accident, dial 911 and report the accident. Even if the other driver apologizes and admits fault, you want everything memorialized in a police report to avoid the other driver later recanting.
- Take photographs. Take photos of your car’s damage, the damage of any other cars, the license plate and VIN # of any involved cars, photos of you or any other drivers or passengers who were injured, and photos of the scene, including skid marks, dented signs, puddles, and more.
- Write down on a piece of paper what happened. Include time, date, weather conditions, roadway conditions, names of involved drivers and passengers, and witness accounts. Include information about what you were doing right before the accident, as well as anything interesting about the driver at fault, such as their breath smelling of alcohol. You can then relay this information to the police. Make sure the police include everything in the police report.
- Draw a diagram of the scene of the accident. This will help your car accident attorney in Fort Lauderdale to understand what happened.
- Notify your insurance company.
- Call the insurance company of the other party, if they have car insurance.
- Call an attorney. You want a skilled, experienced Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer to consult with and represent you in any proceedings.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an auto accident, call the premier Fort Lauderdale auto accident lawyers at Cohn & Smith for a free consultation today.