A car crash in Lakeland can be a very traumatic experience. If you have been involved in one, you may feel disoriented, confused and panicked right after the accident. Even if you sustain no serious injuries, the crash can put you under a lot of stress. However, it is important to make the right decisions right after the crash. These decisions can save lives, and can help a car accident lawyer recover suitable compensation for your damages.
If you are directly involved in a car crash in Lakeland, you are legally bound to report it to the police. Even if you are a passerby, and thus a witness, you will be later required to provide testimony for the incident.
The first thing to do after a car crash is to call 911. When your call is received, make sure you share the exact location and time of the accident. This will help an ambulance reach the scene of accident in the shortest possible time. Timely medical help can be crucial in accidents that involve serious injuries of the drivers. You can save the lives of any other persons seriously injured in the accident by making sure you call 911 in a timely manner.
When the ambulance arrives, it is pertinent that you receive first aid. Even if you feel like your injuries are negligible, it is important to have the medics look at it. The stress and adrenaline from an accident can often hide injuries so that they are not immediately visible. Initial medical care is also important for other reasons. If you refuse it, this can be used against you when you seek compensatory damages from your insurer or any other party.
Contact the Police
In most cases, 911 will also route you to the police authorities. If that is the case, report the incident to the officer who receives your call. Make sure you stay on the scene of the accident until the police authorities arrive. This is a legal obligation if you are one of the parties directly involved in the crash. In some cases, the call through 911 may not reach a police dispatcher. In this case, you can directly call the Lakeland Police Department at 863-834-6900.
All car wrecks involving damages equal to or above $500 must be reported to the local police department as per Florida Statutes 316.065. Other requirements include injuries or significantly vehicle damage. If these requirements are met, you must report the accident. If you violate this, you will be held in traffic violation and may face a fine.
Reporting a Car Crash in Lakeland
Even if the accident doesn’t involve any notable injuries, it is important to report the accident. The police report filed at the scene of the accident is a vital piece of evidence. If you are going to seek compensatory damages later, your claim directly depends on whether or not the accident was reported.
Once the police officers arrive on the site of accident, you will be asked to provide a statement. This statement should typically include details of the drivers and vehicles involved. You can also provide details of how the accident happened and how you felt, without pinning responsibility of any particular party. Your statement may also include the extent of your injuries. The police statement you provide after a car crash is used in examining your damages claim later.
In some cases, you may have to file the car crash report. You can use the Crash Report portal of Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) to file a report online.
Gathering Evidence at Crash Site
If you have are not too injured, it’s a good idea to gather relevant evidence after a car crash. This evidence will be vitally important in your damages claim later. In many cases, vital evidence may be disturbed once other people including 911, the police or the insurance company, begin to arrive. So the best time to document the evidence is right after the crash.
Relevant crash evidence may include photographs of the vehicles and skid marks on the road. Take photographs from different angles to show the damage and the resting position of the vehicles. If there are any witnesses, ask them for their contact details. You may need this later to solicit their testimony in your compensation claim.
Hiring a Lakeland Car Accident Lawyer
Once you have reported a car crash and received medical care, you should next look for an attorney. A qualified Lakeland auto accident attorney will help you with filing a compensation claim as soon as possible.
Here at Burnetti, P.A., we work with car accident victims to get them the compensation they deserve. Our Lakeland lawyers help you identify the at-fault party, send notice of damages, file a claim and ultimately get a fair compensation. Contact us today for a FREE consultation and discuss your case one-on-one with our attorneys.