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What to Do After a Car Accident in Sarasota, FL

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Car accidents happen frequently in Sarasota. They happen on highways such as I-75, U.S. 41, U.S. 301, and SR 780. There are T-bone accidents on Fruitville Road and rear-end crashes on University Parkway. A negligent driver can suddenly cause an accident that leaves you hurt. You may not be sure what to do next.

There are steps you can take that can help protect your health and your right to seek financial compensation for the damages you suffered. A Sarasota car accident attorney can go over your rights and guide you through the legal process.

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Should I call the police?

You can simply call 911 and tell the dispatcher there has been an accident. When officers from the Sarasota Police Department or state police arrive, they will take steps to secure the scene to help keep everyone safe. If anyone is suffering a serious injury, they will call for an ambulance. Next, they will talk to everyone involved and gather information to include in the Florida Traffic Crash Report they fill out. Get a copy of your accident report as soon as possible. It will contain information about the other driver, the driver’s vehicle, insurance information, and any citations that were issued. A lawyer can help you review the report and explain how it may help your claim for financial compensation.

What information do I need from the other driver?

This information includes the driver’s name and contact information. You also want the name of the driver’s insurance company and the policy number. You can also write down the vehicle plate number and the driver’s license number. What you don’t want is to get into an argument over who was to blame. The other driver may have caused the accident – let a lawyer sort that all out. Try to stay calm and get the information you need.

Should I take pictures of the crash scene?

Use your phone to get some photos and videos, if you are able to do so. Take photos of the collision from many different angles. Take some pictures close up to document vehicle damage, as well as shots from farther away. Get some photos of any visible injuries you sustained. If there are any nearby traffic signals, road signs, or landmarks, take photos of those, too. Also document any skid marks or debris in the road, or any road construction that is in progress. Another way to document the accident is to write down your account of the crash as soon as you get a chance. Include everything you remember about what happened.

Should I seek medical attention if I feel ok?

You’ve been in a crash and you feel shaken up a bit, but otherwise seem OK. Do you really need medical attention? The answer is yes. There are several reasons for this. You may not even realize you are injured. Minor pain you are feeling in your leg or arm might actually be a hairline fracture in a bone. You could have a concussion or internal bleeding, and symptoms aren’t showing yet.

Go to Sarasota Memorial Hospital, HCA Florida Sarasota Doctors Hospital, AFC Urgent Care Sarasota, or SMH Urgent Care Center at St. Armands. Or see your own doctor as soon as you can. Wherever you seek medical care, a= doctor can diagnose your injuries and begin treatment right away. Your injuries will also be documented. This documentation can be used as evidence of injury when you are seeking financial compensation.

Do I need to notify my insurance company?

Even if another driver caused the crash, you need to notify your own insurance company. Failing to do so can put your ability to recover financial compensation at risk. But you don’t have to give a lot of detail. Just give them the basic facts. This also applies if you are contacted by the other driver’s insurance company. Remember, insurance companies are not on your side. If an adjuster wants to ask you questions or requests a statement, there is a reason. They want to try to trick you into saying something that makes it look like you are admitting blame for what happened. Tell them you will need to talk to your attorney before doing anything.

Call an experienced Sarasota car accident lawyer.

Technically, you don’t need a lawyer to pursue financial compensation. But the insurance companies have lawyers, and they deal with car accident claims every day. A lawyer can help you know where you stand during a free consultation. A lawyer can review the details of your accident, go over your legal options, give you an idea of what to expect, and answer your questions. It’s in your interest to have someone on your side who knows the system.

The law gives you four years from the date of your accident to take legal action. But the sooner you get legal advice, the better. Witnesses forget things as time goes by. It’s also important to gather evidence before it is lost. A lawyer can give you the information you need before deciding what you should do next.

Call an experienced car accident lawyer in Sarasota today to schedule your free consultation.

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