STEPS TO TAKE AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT ON A HIGHWAY
YOU NEED TO BE PREPARED IF YOU ARE INVOLVED IN A CAR ACCIDENT ON THE TURNPIKE, I-95 OR ANY OTHER FLORIDA HIGHWAY
Anyone that is accustomed to driving in the sunshine state will tell you that traveling on a Florida highway takes a certain level of skill. Accidents happen on Florida highways for a number of reasons. Some of the more common reasons include:
- Going well over the speed limit when there are clear roads. This is seen often on the Florida Turnpike, Interstate 75 and the Sawgrass Expressway.
- Accidents in traffic or highly congested roads. This is continuing to become a dangerous scenario due to the increase in people driving distracted and taking their eyes off the road for those few seconds to check their cellphone. Rear-end accidents are common when someone is not paying attention to stop-and-go traffic.
- The outdated highways and the constant road construction to repair the roads can result in uneven lanes, detours and road debris.
YOU’VE BEEN IN AN ACCIDENT ON THE HIGHWAY – NOW WHAT?
- Call the police and give them your location
- Watch for oncoming cars before you get out of your vehicle: Even though cars slow down and even stop if an accident happens in front of them, there are the few vehicles that are in a hurry and will barely slow down when driving by. Even after you check for traffic and get out slowly, you need to keep an eye on the oncoming cars and watch for possible distracted drivers.
- Take pictures of the vehicles in the accident and where they are before they are moved: The easiest way to do this is to use the camera on your cell or smartphone. Take pictures of the cars involved, the damage and the position the cars were in when the accident happened. If you have a cellphone that takes panoramic photos like an iPhone, Samsung or other smartphones, then also use the panoramic mode to take a photo of the cars and their position. Be careful not to walk into traffic when doing this.
- Now you can move the cars off the highway roads and onto the emergency lane: Taking the photos of how the cars are positioned can prevent the other driver from changing the story in order to deflect the blame onto you or another driver.
- Watch what you say to the other driver: Your adrenaline might be pumping. You might be startled. You might be confused. Having a long conversation in your current state might not be the best time to have a long conversation with the person who caused the accident. We are not saying you can’t ask if they are ok, but keep it to a minimum. Something as simple as “understanding” how they could have hit you can be easily twisted into the accident not really being their fault when they speak to the insurance company.
- Talk to the police and make sure they issue a citation to the other driver while they are filling out the police report. Show them the pictures you took if they have any hesitation or doubt of who caused the accident.
- Talk to eyewitnesses: Take down their names, contact info and statements. Write down the detail to your attorney. Remember, people tend to forget what happened as time goes by.
- Seek medical attention: Adrenaline is high after an accident. Whiplash, disk herniation and other car accident injuries can take hours, days and even months to feel. This is why you need to get yourself checked out. Don’t take any chances.
- Contact our Fort Lauderdale accident firm for a free consultation: There is no charge for this. Tell us what happened and we will gladly explain your options to you.
CONTACT A CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
The Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys of Madalon Law fight for the injured in Broward, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and throughout the State of Florida. Contact us for a free consultation and get answers to your accident questions today.