Attorney, Sanga Turnbull is an Aggressive Auto Accident Injury Lawyer serving the Tampa, Lakeland, Orlando, and Daytona Beach, FL Areas.
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If you are involved in an auto or vehicle accident there are some thing you should and should not do. Most importantly, you do not want to do anything at the scene that may hurt your case.
Things you SHOULD do at the accident scene if you are physically able to do so:
- Seek medical attention: Your health is the most important thing following an accident. If you need medical treatment either ask for medical attention at the scene or seek medical attention as soon as possible after the accident or crash.
- Remember to always remain calm and not confrontational;
- Contact the police: having law enforcement on the scene to document the accident and having an accident report filled out may be the first step in establishing your case against the at fault party.
- Exchange Information with the other party involved: If you are physically able, calmly and peacefully exchange phone numbers from all parties involved (multiple vehicles may be involved). If a phone number is given, call the number at the scene to verify you have been given the correct number. You should also gather 1) license plate number; 2) the vehicles make, model & year and color; 3) the other driver's insurance information; 4) Driver's License number; Car Registration Number.
If the other party refuses to provide information, call the police again before the driver has a chance to leave the scene (but do not get into an argument or physical confrontations with the other driver).
- Take as many photos or video of the accident scene as possible: For best results, turn your smartphone sideways and do not just take close-up photos and videos; you also want photos or video of the entire accident scene which includes getting the crash and surrounding corners or landmarks in the photos or video as well. This will provide a much clearer representation and reference to the different aspects and evidence of the crash.
- Take note of other details: Note the date, time, weather conditions, how heavy or light the traffic was at the time of the accident. List any landmarks and if possible make a drawing (or diagram) of your accident, using the corners, street, landmarks, and traffic patterns is possible.
- Report your accident immediately to your insurance company: but do not provide any specific details until you are able to speak to an attorney.
Things you SHOULD NOT do at the accident scene:
- Do not panic, become confrontational, or combative: Any negative actions on your part at the scene could result in negatively affecting the police report and your case.
- Do not leave the scene of the accident: If you leave the scene of the accident before law enforcement arrives or before the proper information has been exchanged between you and the other parties involved, you may not only be assumed at fault, but you could face criminal charges as well.
- Do not discuss the accident: You may file your report with law enforcement, but do not discuss the details of the accident with anyone before you are able to speak to an attorney. This includes do not discuss the accident with the other parties, witnesses at the scene, your insurance company, those that provide medial attention, or anyone else. Let your attorney represent your rights, and your attorney alone.
- Do not admit fault: Other circumstances involving your accident may exist that you may not be aware of at the time of the accident. The other driver may not have a legal drivers' license or has a suspended or revoked license, he or she could be driving impaired, the other driver may have a history of or is a part of a group that intentionally causes accidents for the insurance money, or other circumstances that will establish that you are not at fault.
- Never give your consent to provide a recorded statement: (regardless if the request is from the other drivers insurance company or your insurance company). Contact an attorney, and let them protect your rights.
- Do not sign any documentation or paperwork by an insurance company without letting your attorney review the documentation or paperwork.
- Do not entertain settlement talks or accept an settlement without consulting your attorney: If an insurance company is trying to deal with you without legal representation, what they are offering is basically "go away money," not "what your case is worth money."
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