At the Bulluck Law Group, we work with many people who have suddenly found themselves in a vehicle accident and weren't sure just what to do next. To help anyone in the St. Petersburg area dealing with the time immediately after a crash by contacting your accident attorney, here is a general guideline to consider.
Remain at the Location
It is very important to remain at the scene of the accident. You can pull to the side of the road and out of traffic, but do not drive away. This is particularly relevant if there have been injuries or a fatality. Leaving the scene could result in criminal charges of hit and run.
Assess Health for All Involved
People are more important than property, so always make sure that everyone in all vehicles or any pedestrians or cyclists involved are free from injuries. If there are injuries, immediately call 911. Do not move a person with a back or neck injury or someone unconscious unless it is a life or death or hazardous situation if they remain in place.
If there are no injuries, you will still want to call 911 and ask for the police to arrive on the scene. This will allow the officer to create an accident report. In most locations, you will be given a printout of the case number, responding officer's name, the date and location. If this is not provided, ask for the officer's name and badge number and any file number available.
Make sure you have the insurance information, names, driver's license numbers and license plate numbers for all vehicles and drivers involved. You should also ask for the names and contact information for any witnesses at the scene.
During this time, do not talk about the accident. These statements can be held against you later in the settlement process. You can use your phone to take pictures of the vehicle and the general areas, just be careful not to step out into traffic.
Contact your insurance agent and your accident attorney as soon as possible. Make sure to be clear about injuries and don't say you are "fine" until you have been examined by a doctor.
If there are serious injuries, talk to your accident attorney before talking to your insurance company. The attorney can inform you as to the next steps to take to proceed with your claim for any accident in St. Petersburg.