Orlando Car Accident LawyerIf you have sustained injuries in an Orlando car accident as a result of another party’s careless or negligent actions, Florida law permits you to sue them for damages in civil court. Car accident victims and their families have enough struggles when it comes to doing the hard work of healing after an accident, they shouldn’t have to also cope with the financial challenges that often come in the aftermath of a severe car accident, especially when another party is responsible. The experienced Orlando car accident lawyers at Michael T. Gibson, P.A., Auto Justice Attorney have ample experience helping car accident victims seek the compensation they deserve for their injuries. If you live in the Greater Orlando area and have been injured in a car accident, call (407) 490-1271 for a free consultation to discuss the details of your accident and learn how we may be able to help you.
Our Results in Car Accident ClaimsThe skilled legal team at Michael T. Gibson, P.A., Auto Justice Attorney has been advocating for car accident injury victims for almost 20 years. The firm’s dedication to professional excellence and case preparation has resulted in millions of dollars in settlements and jury awards for our clients. Our recent car accident cases have resulted in recoveries ranging from $60,000 for a neck injury to more than $3 million for surviving family members after their loved one died in a car accident. These case results are examples and do not guarantee a financial outcome for your car accident claim. Each accident claim has underlying facts and distinctive circumstances that increase or decrease your car accident claim worth. Our team does, however, guarantee that we will diligently pursue the best outcome for your individual circumstances.
Florida’s No-Fault Insurance SystemFlorida is one of about a dozen states with a no-fault insurance system. The state requires residents who register a vehicle to carry a minimum of $10,000 of personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and $10,000 of property damage liability coverage. If you are involved in a car accident in Orlando, or anywhere else in the state, you must first file a claim with your PIP carrier before filing a claim against the other driver. As its name implies, no-fault insurance coverage does not rely on establishing liability in a car accident. Florida PIP coverage can be advantageous in accidents involving minor injuries. PIP pays for 80 percent of medical treatment costs and 60 percent of lost wages related to missing work as the result of an accident-related injury. But accident victims who suffer severe injuries may struggle financially if they only carry the minimum coverage. Medical treatment costs and lost wages after a severe injury often quickly meet or exceed policy limits, leaving car accident victims with large bills. The serious injury threshold that allows injured individuals to pursue compensation through a lawsuit includes injuries that result in:
- Significant and permanent loss of a bodily function
- Permanent injury, within a reasonable degree of medical probability
- Significant and permanent scarring and disfigurement
When You Should Call a Lawyer After an Orlando Car AccidentIn many scenarios, you intuitively know when you need or do not need an attorney after a car accident. Yet, other times you might question if you need legal help. Whenever you are in doubt, you should always take advantage of a free consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer. The lawyer can evaluate the details of your accident and injuries and advise you about the viability of your claim. Some car accident situations that almost always require the expertise of a qualified attorney include:
- You have suffered severe injuries. If one or more severe car accident injuries required you to ride in an ambulance, stay in the hospital, and miss weeks or months of work, you likely have suffered ample economic loss to warrant hiring an attorney. An Orlando car accident lawyer can help you seek to recover losses related to your accident and injuries.
- Multiple parties were involved in the accident. If you were involved in a chain-reaction accident or a multi-car pileup, insurance companies will generally struggle to determine liability in the accident. In fact, they often shift blame around amongst one another. A qualified attorney can ensure your voice is heard and defend you against the victim-blaming that often occurs in multi-car accidents.
- Your insurance claim against the at-fault driver was denied. If you met your PIP limits, you might have already filed a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier. Insurance companies, especially when you are not the policyholder, will go the extra mile to deny or devalue your claim. They may argue that you filed your claim late, made errors, or find some other obnoxious reason for denial. A car accident attorney can fight to attempt to ensure that the insurance companies involved with your car accident claim act in good faith.
- A loved one suffered a fatal injury. If someone you love suffered a fatal injury and died as a result of an Orlando car accident, you might be eligible for compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit. Florida law permits surviving family members to sue the at-fault party for damages related to the loss of their loved one. Eligibility depends on your relationship with the person who died.
Recouping Losses After an Orlando Car AccidentIf you chose to take legal action against the party who caused your car accident within Florida’s four-year statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits, you may be able to receive compensation for damages you incurred as a result of your car accident and injuries. Jury awards and settlements can include compensatory and punitive damages. Florida law reserves punitive damages for cases of gross negligence or willful harm. It’s more likely you will receive compensatory damages after a car accident. If you reach an agreeable settlement or the court rules in your favor, you can recoup economic and non-economic losses such as the following:
- Medical expenses, including ambulance and emergency room services, hospitalization, diagnostic imaging, surgery, follow-up care, doctor’s visits, and medication.
- Future medical expenses when an injury from a car accident requires a long recovery, requires a victim to undergo surgery, or leads to a permanent injury that requires full-time care.
- Expenses for rehabilitation such as visiting a physical therapist, occupational therapist, mental health specialist, or any other specialist who treats the accident victim during their recovery.
- Expenses for assistive devices such as wheelchairs, canes, crutches, and prosthetic limbs.
- Lost income for time away from work related to the car accident, injuries, hospitalization, rehabilitation, and recovery.
- Physical pain and suffering.
- Emotional pain and suffering.
- Loss of consortium (a physical relationship) with a spouse.
- Decreased quality of life.
- Scarring and disfigurement.
Car Accidents Occur Because of Careless, Reckless, and Negligent DriversMechanical failure and environmental factors can lead to car accidents, but the vast majority occur because of careless, reckless, and negligent drivers. Human error, in fact, plays a role in about 90 percent of all traffic accidents. Human error is a broad term that can refer to many things. To learn more about the common causes of car accidents review our resource that covers the six common causes of collisions. Below we have listed some other considerations also:
SpeedingSome people are always in a rush, whether they are running late or simply lack patience. Indeed, More than 9,000 people are killed in the U.S. each year because of speeding drivers. Speeding refers not only to driving over the posted speed limit, but also to driving too fast for road conditions. Regardless of the reason why a driver speeds, speeding can lead to serious and deadly accidents. Speeding isn’t always a direct cause of a car accident, but it does make it more difficult for drivers to control their cars, react to others on the road, and respond to dangerous situations. Speeding also increases the force upon impact when cars collide, making the likelihood of severe injuries and fatalities much higher than when traveling at lower speeds. It also causes the vehicle’s protective features—such as the steel frame, airbags, and seat belts—to not work as effectively.
Fatigued DrivingAround half of all U.S. drivers say that they consistently get behind the wheel while feeling drowsy. The FLHSMV states that two things cause drowsy or fatigued driving: not enough or poor quality of sleep; and driving at times when your body should be sleeping. Fatigue impairs the driver’s ability to concentrate, respond to emergency driving situations, or maintain a single travel lane. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the federal agency responsible for regulating the trucking industry, has studied the relationship between sleep and driving. They have found that drivers who go without sleep for 18 hours have the same level of impairment as a driver with a 0.08 blood alcohol concentration, the legal limit for motorists with regular drivers’ licenses. When a fatigued driver nods off or falls asleep at the wheel, they may swerve into the lane of oncoming traffic and cause a treacherous car accident. Professional drivers, rideshare drivers, shift workers, and those with untreated medical issues are at the highest risk of driving while fatigued. Others are also vulnerable, including individuals who are going through life changes, such as a new baby, that have reduced the ability to get a restful sleep, as well as those suffering from conditions, like sleep apnea, which cause them to feel tired even when they have obtained the suggested amount of sleep. Still, one in five drivers admits to falling asleep behind the wheel at least once in the past year, and drowsy driving is a contributing factor in the loss of around 5,000 lives every year.
Drunk/Drugged DrivingOne person dies in the United States every 50 minutes as a result of drunk driving. This equates to around 30 deaths each day, or 10,500 deaths each year. Excess alcohol consumption and drug use before driving are not only illegal, but impairs many of the skills needed for safe driving, such as the ability to track moving targets, the ability to focus and make good decisions, and the ability to brake and steer effectively. Drunk drivers consequently put others on the road at risk for severe accidents and injury. Sometimes drivers make explicit choices to get behind the wheel after using controlled substances and other times they don’t have an accurate understanding of how badly they are impaired. While the legal limit for alcohol is 0.08 grams of alcohol per deciliter of blood, which is achieved by drinking around four drinks, with more or less needed to reach this level depending on the person’s body weight, how often they drink, and other factors, the effects of alcohol on a person’s ability to drive safely begin with the first drink. Typically alcohol impacts women more quickly than men. Also, as a person’s weight increases, so does the time it takes for alcohol to metabolize. A driver might think they haven’t had enough to impact their ability to drive safely, but this can be a deadly assumption if they are wrong. If you or a loved one has been involved in a drunk driving related accident you can learn more about your legal options by speaking to an experienced Orlando drunk driving car accident lawyer.
Distracted DrivingDistracted driving results in around 2,800 deaths each year, including hundreds of pedestrians and dozens of bicyclists. Cell phone use while driving, especially texting, is one of the most dangerous and deadly distractions that lead to car accidents. Fortunately, Florida changed its distracted driving laws in 2020 and now cell phone use is a primary offense. Crackdowns on drivers who use cell phones while operating vehicles have helped reduce the problem. Yet, distracted driving is not new. Drivers can become distracted by many other things that take their eyes off the road, their hands off the wheel, and/or their minds away from driving. There are three varieties of driver distractions: manual distractions, which are those that cause the driver to take his or her hands off the wheel; visual distractions, which are those that cause the driver to take his or her eyes off the road; and cognitive distractions, which are those that draw the driver’s focus away from driving. Texting is particularly dangerous, as it involves manual, visual, and cognitive distractions. In fact, in the roughly five seconds that it takes to read or reply to a text, an individual who is driving 55 miles per hour will have traveled the length of a football field without looking at the road, without his or her hands placed properly on the steering wheel, and without thinking about driving safely. Examples of other common and dangerous driving distractions include eating or drinking, adjusting the a/c, adjusting the stereo or vehicle controls, combing hair, putting on makeup, tending to occupants in the backseat, and focusing on external distractions, such as work zones, previous accidents, or billboards.
Following Too CloselyDrivers who tailgate other vehicles risk causing a rear-end accident. When a driver follows another vehicle too closely, they do not leave enough time or distance to react to that vehicle’s movements. Sometimes drivers need to turn quickly or make an abrupt stop. Tailgating in these situations can lead to a serious accident, especially when the crash happens at high speeds. Driving instructors teach students to leave at least a two-second gap between vehicles, which should be increased during inclement weather or in heavy traffic.
Failure to Use Turn SignalsGovernment entities and other research organizations have not extensively studied turn signal use. Yet, one recent study surveyed about 12,000 drivers and found that more than 50 percent did not use turn signals to change lanes. Similarly, about 25 percent of respondents don’t use their turn signals when they make a turn. Although the study did not specifically focus on Florida, they did conclude that up to two million car accidents each year occur because drivers do not use their turn signals. When you use your signal, you show others with whom you share the road your intentions so they can react accordingly.
Aggressive Driving and Road RageAggressive driving practices, such as speeding, tailgating, running red lights, or turning without signaling are a major source of accidents in the U.S. The terms aggressive driving and road rage are often used interchangeably. However, while aggressive driving is a list of traffic offenses, road rage is the criminal attempt to intimidate or cause harm to another driver. Some examples of road rage include yelling or gesturing at another driver, honking as an attempt to punish another driver, deliberately tailgating, attempting to bump or push another vehicle off the road, or even getting out of the vehicle to confront another driver.
Injuries That Car Accidents CauseNearly every part of the body can suffer an injury in a car accident, depending on the circumstances of the accident. Some of the more serious injuries that individuals may suffer when an accident occurs include:
- Traumatic brain injuries: Traumatic brain injuries occur when you experience a sudden jolt or blow to the head, which causes bleeding, bruising, and damage to the brain. This type of injury can be mild, resulting in only minor symptoms and healing within a couple of weeks, or it can be severe, resulting in life-altering impacts that may include loss of memory, loss of balance and coordination, the inability to control one’s emotions, loss of hearing or vision, or the inability to communicate.
- Spinal cord injuries: Spinal cord injuries are one of the most life-changing types of injuries to suffer, due to the limited ability of the spinal cord to heal and the high likelihood of permanent damage that involves loss of sensation and function below the site of the injury. The higher up on the spine the injury occurs, the more widespread the damage will likely be, with injuries to the neck portion of the spine—known as the cervical region—often resulting in tetraplegia, which is paralysis of the arms, hands, shoulders, diaphragm, torso, hips, legs, and feet.
- Internal injuries: Internal injuries are common in car accidents and can result in damage to organs, such as the liver, lungs, kidney or spleen. These injuries can also cause internal bleeding, which can be life-threatening if not promptly treated.
- Broken bones: Broken bones not only limit an injured individual’s ability to move and function, but they can also cause permanent damage if the bones fail to heal properly. Infections are common when the break causes the bone to protrude from the skin.
Types of Car Accidents in OrlandoNearly every type of car accident imaginable takes place in Orlando and throughout Central Florida. Some of the most common types of car accidents include:
- Rear-end: Rear-end injuries occur when the front of one vehicle collides with the rear of the vehicle in front. Rear-end collisions are often the result of distracted driving and tailgating, which occurs when one vehicle is following another vehicle too closely. This is the most common type of two-car crash, accounting for nearly one-third of all traffic accidents in the United States. While rear-end accidents are often referred to as “fender-benders” or “whiplash crashes,” this type of accident can be anything but minor. Rear-end accidents cause about 1,700 deaths each year across the nation.
- Head-on: While head-on collisions only account for around 2 percent of all accidents, more than half of the fatalities in passenger vehicle accidents result from this type of accident. Head-on collisions, also known as frontal impact collisions, occur when the front of one vehicle strikes the front of another vehicle. This type of accident is often caused by drivers who are traveling the wrong direction on an interstate ramp or roadway, or who swerve into oncoming traffic in an attempt to avoid another collision or as a result of another collision. The reason this type of accident produces so many fatalities is that the forward motion and speed at which both vehicles are traveling dramatically increases the total energy of the collision.
- Sideswipe: Sideswipe collisions occur when the side of one vehicle collides with the side of another. Sideswipes are often the result of unsafe passing maneuvers, when a vehicle attempts to enter a lane of travel without first ensuring that the travel lane is clear.
- Broadside: A broadside or T-bone collision, also known as a T-bone accident or a side-impact crash, is an accident that involves the front of one vehicle colliding with the side of another vehicle. This type of accident generally takes place in an intersection and involves one driver failing to yield the right-of-way to another by failing to stop at a stop sign or a traffic light. Broadside accidents occasionally happen outside of the intersection, such as when a driver attempts to make a U-turn without properly gauging the gap in traffic or when pulling out of a private driveway or parking lot. T-bone accidents are a major source of injury and death, with the highest risk of injury being to the occupants sitting on the side of the vehicle that is struck. This is particularly true when there is a big discrepancy in size between the two vehicles involved in the accident.
- Single-car: Single-car collisions account for nearly 40 percent of vehicle occupant deaths, with more than half of the deaths in pickups and SUVs occurring from crashes that only involve a single vehicle. Unfortunately, this type of accident results in a high percentage of deaths to pedestrians and bicyclists.
- Chain-reaction: Chain-reaction crashes involve more than two vehicles. Often, these situations begin as a two-car accident, with additional vehicles crashing into the initial accident scene, or the force of the initial accident pushing one or more of the cars into other vehicles in the area. Chain reaction crashes often take place on roadways with higher speeds, and inclement weather conditions, such as low visibility and wet roads, can be a factor in this type of crash.
Accidents by the NumbersFlorida experiences around 400,000 car accidents each year, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). More than 30,000 car accidents have occurred in the Orlando area each year for the past several years. We see more than 3,000 fatalities statewide, and more than 250,000 injuries arising from those accidents, with the Orlando area accounting for nearly 200 fatalities and 23,000 injuries. The Orlando area is notorious for heavy traffic, so you may not be surprised by these alarming statistics. Some of the crashes are minor accidents that do not lead to injuries or fatalities, but close to half of the accidents result in injuries for drivers, occupants, or others on the road. Many of those injuries and fatalities involve pedestrians and bicyclists trying to enjoy the abundant sunshine and beautiful scenery in the area. Recently, the law enforcement agencies in central Florida launched a new initiative, Vision Zero, which aims to reduce the number of fatalities and injuries to pedestrians and cyclists through education, enforcement, and engineering. In the first hours of this new initiative, dozens of individuals had been stopped for traffic violations. Among the dangers to travelers of all types on the roadways were distracted drivers, as well as pedestrians who attempted to cross busy roadways outside of the intersections.
Orlando Car Accident FAQThere are an average of 6 million car accidents in the United States each year. With 15,368,695 licensed drivers on the road in Florida, accidents happen every day. In just one year, 403,626 crashes took place in Florida, resulting in 3,135 fatalities and 19,196 incapacitating injuries. Of these, 31,917 crashes happened in the Orlando area. Car accidents are harrowing. Following an auto accident, injured persons may have the following questions and concerns. We have answers
What are some common causes of Orlando car accidents?Many variables factor into accidents on the road. One major source of car accidents is human error. Unfortunately, we can only control our actions and not those of the driver next to us. Some of the most common causes of car accidents in the United States include:
- Speeding – According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speed is a primary factor in accidents in the United States. In just one year, speeding killed 9,378 people. For decades, speeding has contributed to approximately thirty percent of all motor vehicle fatalities. Speeding accounts for more than a quarter (26 percent) of all traffic fatalities. Some crashes result from breaking the speed limit. Other drivers were going too fast for conditions.
- Distracted driving – 2,935 fatal crashes occurred on U.S. roadways in 2017 that involved distraction, which amounted to 9 percent of all fatal crashes. Some crashes involved more than one distracted driver. Whether you are eating, fooling around with the stereo, entertainment, or navigation system or doing anything that is distracting you from your driving, it is hazardous. For example, a driver who is texting is 23 times as likely to crash.
- Driving while impaired – Alcohol is a major factor in traffic accidents. Drunk driving accidents led to 10,511 fatalities in one year alone. Despite all efforts to reduce these accidents, alcohol-impaired driving accounts for about 30 percent of all traffic fatalities. Drunk driving is preventable. However, drivers under the influence of alcohol and drugs still get behind the wheel after drinking, putting themselves and others at risk.
- Tailgating and aggressive driving – Safe driving requires patience, focus, and a calm mind. There are many aggressive drivers on the roads. They tailgate, weave in and out of lanes, change lanes without signaling, run red lights, or drive recklessly. A recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that about 78 percent of drivers in the U.S. reported expressing aggression or road rage in the past year.
- Drowsy driving – Everyone is busy and under pressure. Therefore, driver fatigue is no surprise. Approximately 7.5 million drivers in the United States admit to having fallen asleep at the wheel within the past month. Drowsy drivers may experience cognitive impairment similar to a driver who is impaired by drinking or drugs. One of three (33 percent) wandered into another lane or onto the shoulder, while 19 percent say they crossed the centerline. In one in ten (10 percent) cases, the driver ran off the road. Researchers report that approximately 292,000 drivers were involved in some type of crash within the past six months because they fell asleep at the wheel.
- Failure to yield – These accidents happen in many types of situations, such as when a driver making a left turn fails to yield to oncoming traffic, a flashing yellow or red light, or a driver is entering the street from a private driveway. Often the injury victim drives into the car that failed to yield.
- Vehicle defects – We expect our cars to keep our families and ourselves safe, but with a system of hundreds of moving parts, it is not uncommon for something to fail, often with dangerous results. Some vehicles or parts are defective because of improper design or manufacturing. If these defects caused the accident, the manufacturer and others in the chain of distribution might have liability.
What types of injuries do Orlando car accident victims suffer?Common types of injuries include:
- Back and neck injuries. These range from slight neck pain to catastrophic spinal cord injuries such as paralysis. Serious back and neck injuries can result in long-term or permanent disability.
- Head injuries. Accidents can cause a wide range of head injuries. Victims are sometimes not aware of head injuries or traumatic brain injuries at first, but they still are potentially devastating. It is important to get prompt medical care.
- Internal injuries. These injuries may also go undetected at first, but they can be serious and difficult to treat.
- Rib and torso injuries. People have a total of 24 ribs in their body, which protect our vital organs. Therefore, injuries such as fractured ribs, soft-tissue rib injuries, and flail chest can be extremely painful and make it difficult for the injured person to breathe.
- Lacerations and burns. Car accident injuries such as cuts and burns are not only painful; in some cases, they leave the victim with disfiguring scars.
- Broken bones. Broken bones are common car accident injuries and may need surgery or long-term treatment.
- Seat belt injuries. There is no doubt that seat belts save lives, but in some circumstances, they cause or contribute to injuries, including whiplash.
- Wrongful death. The family or heirs of someone killed in an accident might be eligible for compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.
What is the law in Florida regarding insurance?Florida is a No-Fault insurance state as it relates to automobile liability insurance. Under Florida law, every motorist must carry at least $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. The purpose of a driver’s PIP coverage is to compensate the insured for any medical bills and lost wages the driver may suffer in an accident, regardless of who caused the accident. This type of insurance is known as no fault because your own policy helps cover your medical expenses after a car accident, no matter who caused it. After a crash, each party files a claim with their own insurance company to pay the costs of medical care and other losses. According to Florida statute, in some cases, the victim may hold the at-fault driver accountable, regardless of the no-fault law. In those circumstances, the injured person may bring a claim not only for medical bills and lost wages but also to recover for pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of consortium, and other intangible damages suffered as a result of the accident. These exceptions include “(i) significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function; (ii) permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement; (iii) significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement; or (iv) death.”
What is the law on negligence?If someone’s negligence caused your accident and your resulting injuries, you might be entitled to damages for negligence, under personal injury law. The definition of negligence is “a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances.” To establish negligence, you need to prove “the existence of a legal duty that the defendant owed to the plaintiff, defendant’s breach of that duty, plaintiff’s sufferance of an injury, proof that defendant’s breach caused the injury.”
Who may be at fault for an Orlando car accident?Sometimes it is difficult to determine who is at fault in a car accident, but it is an important question. There may be multiple parties involved. Who made a mistake? Did more than one driver contribute to the accident? What about road conditions or car malfunctions? Serious accidents can be economically and personally catastrophic. Even minor accidents can be costly because of injuries and vehicle damage. Circumstances involving the drivers, the road conditions, and the vehicles may all contribute to an accident. The police report contains the initial facts of the accident. The report will include details such as the date and time of the accident, as well as weather and road conditions, a diagram of the site, and a listing of vehicle damage. It will list contact information for those involved and any witnesses. However, police reports do not necessarily include a determination of fault. Even if the official police report states who was at fault for a car accident, this does not automatically mean that the person will be held liable for the accident in a lawsuit. The victim must prove that the other party is at fault for the crash. If a driver was negligent but did not cause the accident, they likely cannot be held responsible for the crash. Unlike criminal cases, the standard of proof for this type of lawsuit is by a preponderance of the evidence. Essentially, this means proving your claim is more likely than not.
What types of compensation might be available in an Orlando car accident case?Anyone injured in a car accident that wasn’t their fault might be entitled to receive compensation, also called damages. To recover damages, you must prove any damages that resulted from the accident. Therefore, it is essential to obtain treatment for your injuries from a medical professional right away so that you can prove the injuries were a result of the accident. You should also keep all medical and financial records related to your injuries. The amount of damages depends on many factors, including the circumstances of the accident and the extent and impact of the injuries. Damages vary widely, but may include:
- The cost of current and future medical care
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Property damages
- Cost of household services, if, for example, your injuries mean you need to hire a lawn service or house cleaners while you recover; and
- Physical and mental or emotional pain and suffering
- Disfigurement or physical impairment
- loss of enjoyment of activities
- Loss of enjoyment of life; and
- Loss of consortium or companionship
- In some cases, punitive damages
What should I do after an Orlando car accident?
- Check yourself for injuries. Also, check on the well-being of your passengers and others involved in the accident. If anyone is injured, call emergency services.
- Get to safety. If possible, move to the side of the road or a safe area.
- Call 911. Even if it is a minor accident, it is important to call the police. In some states, the law requires you to report the accident. The police can document the scene and file an accident report, which may be useful later.
- Exchange information. If possible, exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver. Information collected should include the full name and contact information, insurance company and policy number, driver’s license and license plate number, type, color and model of vehicle, and location of the accident
- Document the accident. Most people have cell phone cameras, so it is relatively easy to take pictures from several angles, showing the damage to both cars, the other car’s license plate, the area of the accident and surrounding debris.
- If there are witnesses, obtain their contact information.
- Contact a car accident lawyer for advice and assistance or if an insurance company representative asks you to provide a statement. Try to avoid discussing the question of fault with anyone until you have had an opportunity to speak with a lawyer.
- Contact your insurer