Even the most careful drivers in Orlando may have a run in with a reckless driver. A fender bender or rear-end collision on your daily commute can be an expensive hassle that could lead to serious injuries. It is important to know what steps to take if you are involved in a car crash.
Pull over and take care exiting the vehicle
First, if possible, try to pull over out of traffic. It can help to be in a safe public space with good lighting so that other drivers can see you and the person who hit you. In addition, you should put on your emergency flashers to make you more visible to other drivers. Even if your car is too damaged to move, it is important that at least you and your passengers get out of the vehicle and to a safe place. However, do not leave the scene of the crash.
In addition, you do not want to leave children or pets in a hot car while you discuss the crash with the other driver or police. You may want to let first responders remove children small enough to be in car seats from your vehicle. They may have injuries that are not immediately visible making it dangerous for you to try to move them on your own.
Call for help and notify police
Second, you will want to call police and an ambulance if necessary. You or your passengers may be injured. Even seemingly minor injuries should be immediately checked out by a professional. If you call 911, try to give them as much information as you can regarding your location so they can quickly reach you. Wait until the dispatcher tells you to hang up before ending the call.
Note that it may take police a while to reach you, as they may be responding to more urgent situations. If police are unable to come to the scene of the crash or otherwise cannot make a report, you can go to the nearest police station as soon as you can following the crash to file a report on your own.
Do not admit fault and do not make deals
Third, you can talk to the other driver but do not make deals on your own. If the crash is not due to road rage it may be safe to talk with the other driver. However, it is essential that you do not say “I’m sorry” or admit fault in any other way. Similarly, do not get angry with the other driver. A determination of fault should be left to your insurance company and the court if you decide to sue. Make sure everyone is ok and avoid talking about injuries or damages. Similarly, do not make “handshake deals” with the other driver regarding repairs and other losses.
You will want to exchange important information with the other driver. However, keep the exchange of information solely to insurance information and contact information. It may also be helpful to document the other person’s license plate number and the make, model and color of their vehicle, as well as the location of the crash. You can also take photographs or videos of vehicular damage. You will also want to write down all you can recall about the crash as soon as possible.
Following these steps can put you in a good position should you eventually want to pursue legal action against the other driver. An insurance payout may not always be enough to cover all the damages you suffered. Remember, not all injuries are immediately noticeable following a motor vehicle accident, and even seemingly minor injuries could lead to significant medical bills. You will want to pursue all the compensation you are entitled to following a car accident.