September 2016 Newsletter
This Month’s Topic of Interest: September 2016: 3 Steps to Follow After an Accident
Getting into a car accident is one of the easiest ways for a good day to turn into a bad one. Not knowing what to do after the accident though can make it even worse. After the accident your adrenaline will be pumping, and you’ll probably be at least slightly shaken-up. At this moment, however, it is important that you remain calm and remember to adequately fulfill your duties under the law. Failure to take these actions can result in fines and further traffic citations. Remember to take pictures immediately if you can do this safely.
Step One: Safely stop your vehicle. If you can move the vehicle, you should move it to a location that won’t obstruct other motorists. This is usually accomplished by pulling off the road either onto the shoulder or otherwise out of the travel lanes. If your vehicle can’t move on its own, you should call a tow truck. Also, if your vehicle is immobilized in the middle of the roadway, you should move yourself away from the vehicle to a safer location as secondary accidents often happen when other drivers come upon stopped vehicles and fail to stop in time.
Step Two: Getting medical assistance If yourself, any of your passengers, or anyone in the other vehicle has been injured you must try to get medical assistance to the scene. If medical assistance is required, you must stay on the scene until help arrives.
Step Three: Exchanging information and filing reports. If medical assistance is not needed or it has arrived, you must give your name, address, and registration number to anyone involved and must also display your license to anyone involved that requests to see it. If the accident has caused injury, death, or property damage over $500 then law enforcement must be notified immediately. If law enforcement is not present at the scene, you are obligated to file a crash report with the Department of Motor Vehicles within ten days of the accident.
What if I hit a parked car or other property? If you are involved in an accident with a parked car or someone’s property, your obligations are fairly similar. First, you must immediately stop your vehicle. Next, you must either locate the owner or notify the owner by leaving a note in an obvious location that contains your name, address, and registration number. Finally, without unnecessary delay, you must notify law enforcement of the accident.
As mentioned earlier, failure to follow these instructions can result in the possibility of significant fines as well as other traffic sanctions. Make sure to fulfill your obligations and most importantly remember to be safe as secondary accidents pose a severe threat to motorists stopped on the roadway. If you are unfortunately involved in an accident, make sure you contact experienced accident attorneys like those at Meldon Law by calling 800-373-8000 or visiting MeldonLaw.com. If you would like a Florida Accident Guide for your glove compartment, just give us a call!