Studies have shown that the average American suffers at least one car accident
during their lifetime – and that auto accidents are the leading
cause of accidental death in people in the 18-34 year age cohort. Between
drunk driving, driving while on a cellphone, driving while texting, and
the half-dozen other distractions that consistently move younger drivers'
attention away from the road, it's possible to get into an accident
at any moment – because you never know when the other driver is
a 19-year-old with a texting addiction. With that in mind, it's important
that every driver on the road know the basics of 'wreck etiquette'.
We asked a few of the top auto accident attorneys of Florida some crash-time
fundamentals, and here's what we got:
The 4 Things NOT To Do in a Car Crash
- Don't talk about the wreck to anyone except the police until you have
an auto accident lawyer. Florida law prevents your statements to the police
from being used against you in court, so you can talk to them freely –
but anyone else might be recording what you say, and you never know how
your words can be construed in court.
- Don't sign anything. You might be asked to sign anything from a release
form for your medical records to an admission of guilt – the best
bet is to wait before you have a lawyer literally standing there by your
side before you sign anything.
- Stay Offline. Any digital communications that you make to anyone about
your accident, your injuries, or any other aspect of the situation can
be subpoenaed and used against you in court. Don't give them the chance.
- Don't journal the accident. For the same reason as staying offline
– anything you write down can be used against you in a court of
law, and you never know what will end up being damning.
The 4 Things You SHOULD Do in a Car Crash
- If you need it, seek medical treatment immediately. You might feel fine,
but that could be adrenaline or simple shock masking the pain. Get yourself
to a doctor and describe the event and your injury accurately and in detail.
- Follow your doctor's orders afterward. If your doctor tells you that
you need a recheck, do it. Failure to follow the doctor's orders can
be construed in court as you deciding that you're not as hurt as you thought.
- Forward all of your medical bills to your insurance company. Your insurance
will pay the bills up front, and once the case is resolved and blame is
parceled out, the insurance company of the at-fault party will recompense
your insurance company without you having to worry about it at all.
- Take pictures of any damage to your vehicles and any injuries you and/or
your passengers have. It might seem odd to say that you should take pictures
after telling you not to update Facebook or take notes, but pictures don't
include any opinions – they show what actually happened, and that's
always a good thing.