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Steps to take if you are involved in a car accident in Florida

You may be heading down Interstate 95 or one of Florida's other streets or highways, minding your own business and concentrating on the task of driving when suddenly, "Bam!" -- you've been struck by another driver. Car accidents can be frightening and confusing, especially if you are injured. However, they do happen, so it is important to know what to do if you are involved in a car crash.

First of all, stay at the scene of the accident. If a motorist strikes another motorist, and flees the scene, they could not only be liable to the injured motorist, but they could also face criminal charges as a hit-and-run driver. Second, assess the situation and determine if anyone is hurt or has been killed. Unless it is necessary to avoid further harm, do not move a person who is not conscious or has neck or back injuries. Call 911 or the police.

People involved in a car crash should also exchange information about each other. They will need to know each other's names, where they reside, information on each other's automobile insurance and driver's license and license plate numbers. Even though you might feel angry or shook up from the accident, try to remain calm, and work with the other driver to exchange information. Also, if anyone witnessed the crash, get their name and contact information as well.

As soon as it is feasible, those involved in a car accident should notify their insurance company of the crash. Be honest about what happened, and also provide an accurate account of your injuries. Also, obtain a police report. This report could indicate which driver is at fault. If a person is injured in a crash and needs medical attention, he or she should ask for any pertinent medical records, medical bills and what treatments he or she received.

Finally, take care in discussing the crash. Only speak about the crash to your insurance provider, police and your attorney. Any requests for information should be referred to one's lawyer or insurance provider.

This information may be of use to those involved in an accident, but it should not be relied on as legal advice. Those who are wondering what their legal rights are if they are involved in an accident should refer these questions to their attorney.

Source: FindLaw, "After a Car Accident: First Steps," Nov. 5, 2017

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