So you hear it all over the radio. You see it on T.V. “In an accident? Call 911, 411, 311, 011 and then your international country code.”
It seems nowadays everyone has advice about car accidents. But there really are some important things to know if you’re in a crash in order to avoid waiving important rights. Namely:
1) Get a report of the accident and contact your insurer. Most insurance policies provide that you may forfeit your coverage if you don’t timely report the incident to both law enforcement and your insurance company. Not sure that you’re going to submit a claim? Or maybe, that episode of Breaking Bad starts in 10 and there’s no time to wait for the cops? Better safe than sorry — so wait. You can withdraw a claim later if you decide not to pursue but you might lose your coverage if you don’t timely report.
2) If you think you may have been injured get checked out. Florida’s new auto insurance law only provides PIP medical coverage if you see a doctor or qualified health practitioner within 14 days of the accident.
3) If there’s damage to person or property take photos while you can. A picture is worth a thousand words and in accident cases may be worth a lot more than that in dollars when you’re trying to prove damages.
So remember, don’t get caught in a number jumble. Just breathe, take a moment to report, snap some “selfies” if you need to, and if those bones and muscles start aching visit your local urgent care or ER.
Russel Lazega is an attorney and author of two of Florida’s most widely distributed legal textbooks on Florida Insurance Law. He also represents accident victims and consumers at war with their insurance companies and is based in Dania Beach, North Miami, Orlando and Tampa, Florida. Questions? Contact: Russ@lazegalaw.com