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What to Do After a Car Accident in Lakeland, FL

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The steps you take next are important

Car accidents can happen on highways such as I-4, Polk Parkway, US 92, and US 98. They can happen on busy Lakeland streets such as South Florida Avenue or West Memorial Boulevard. It only takes one negligent driver to cause a crash. Many people aren’t sure what to do after that happens. But there are several steps you can take to help protect your health and your rights.

Lakeland car accident attorney can help you hold the negligent driver in your accident accountable and guide you through the legal process.

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Should I call the state or local police?

You can just call 911, and the state police, Lakeland Police Department, or another local law enforcement agency will respond. Do you have to call the police if your accident seems minor? It is always in your best interests to do so. Police can help keep everyone safe on the scene, especially if your vehicle is still in the road. They can get emergency medical attention for anyone that needs it. And they will also investigate your crash and fill out a Florida Traffic Crash Report. This routine document can be an important piece of evidence when you are seeking financial compensation after being hit by a negligent driver. Note which law enforcement agency responded and ask for the officer’s name and badge number. Then get a copy of your accident report as soon as it becomes available.

Should I talk to the other driver and ask for information?

All you want is the driver’s name, contact information, insurance company name, and policy number. Share your information with the other driver, too. It’s important to stay calm, even if the other driver was negligent. Getting into an argument or confrontation is not a good idea for many reasons. If the other driver was negligent, let your lawyer handle it. Also, ask witnesses for their names and contact information.

How should I document the accident scene?

Use your phone to take some photos and video. Get plenty of shots of the crash, including wider shots showing the point of impact as well as closer shots clearly showing the damage on each vehicle. Take pictures of any nearby traffic signals, road signs, or landmarks. Document skid marks or debris in the road. Take photos of any visible injuries you have. When you get a moment, write down everything you remember about the crash, while your memory is still fresh.

Should I get medical attention for my injuries?

You should get medical attention even if you feel OK. There are some injuries that have delayed symptoms, such as internal bleeding and concussions. A doctor can determine the extent of your injuries and begin treatment. You may choose to be seen at the emergency room at Lakeland Regional Health Medical CenterHCA Florida Lakeland EmergencySunshine Urgent Care, or the Watson Clinic Urgent Care Main location. Or you can visit an urgent care center or see your own doctor.

Wherever you get your medical exam, a doctor will document your injuries and the treatment you receive. This documentation can help an attorney prove that you were hurt in the accident. Your lawyer can then fight for financial compensation.

Should I notify my insurance company?

Contact the insurance company within a day or two to inform them that you were involved in a car accident. Failing to do so can make it much more difficult to recover financial compensation for what happened. You should provide the basic facts, but you don’t have to provide a lot of detail. You may be contacted by an adjuster from your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company. The adjuster may want to ask you some questions or to give a recorded statement. You are under no obligation to do either of these things. Politely decline and tell the adjuster you wish to speak to your attorney for advice.

Contact an experienced Lakeland car accident lawyer.

It’s important to get legal advice following your accident in Lakeland. The other driver may deny doing anything wrong and the insurance companies aren’t really on your side. A lawyer can review the details of your accident, answer your questions and explain your legal options for recovering financial compensation.

When’s the best time to talk to a lawyer? As soon as possible. The law gives you four years from the date of the crash to take legal action. But time is not on your side. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that evidence will get lost or be destroyed. The memories of witnesses can fade. The sooner a lawyer can get started, the better.

Schedule your free consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer today.

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