On average, there were 1,092 auto accidents in Florida every day during 2018. While most accidents involve local Florida residents who are on their way to work, on their way home or driving to pick up their kids or run errands, a significant percentage of accidents in Florida involve out-of-state drivers.
A few years ago, the Orlando Sentinel published an article titled, “Study: Florida is the last place you want to have an accident.” The article examined the results of a study published by WalletHub.com, which concluded that Florida’s minimal insurance requirements and its high rate of illegally-uninsured drivers made it the least-favorable state for auto accident victims to secure financial compensation. But, this does not mean that securing compensation is impossible; and, if you were injured in an accident while on vacation in Florida, it is important that you speak with an attorney about how best to protect your legal rights.
4 Steps to Take After a Car Accident in Florida as an Out-of-State Resident
Let’s say that you drove to Florida for a family vacation. Or, perhaps you flew in and rented a car to see the sights. If you or a family member was injured in an accident, here are some steps you can take right away to improve your chances of securing just compensation:
1. Record Everything You Remember about the Accident
We’ll assume that you have left the accident scene and are now either in your hotel room, at the hospital, or on your way back home. At this point, one of the first things you should do is write down everything you remember about the accident. Where did it occur? What were the road and traffic conditions? Where did you get hit? If you took photos at the scene, make sure you have these stored in a safe place as well.
2. Seek Prompt Medical Attention
When you are away from home, going to an unfamiliar hospital may seem like the last thing you want to do. However, after an accident, it is always important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Not only can it be dangerous to travel with certain types of traumatic injuries, but delaying treatment can also make it more difficult to recover financial compensation.
3. Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
Regardless of who you believe was at fault in the accident, it is important to report the accident to your insurance company (among other reasons, this is most likely required under the terms of your policy). However, when you report the accident, you do not want to provide any more information than necessary, and you absolutely do not want to render an opinion on what caused the accident or who was at fault. The insurance companies will ask you do to this, but they will only do so because they want to be able to use your own words against you.
4. Contact a Local Personal Injury Attorney
Finally, due to Florida’s unique auto insurance laws and various other factors, you should speak with a personal injury attorney in the city or town where the accident occurred. Once again, acting promptly is critical, as delays can make it more difficult to collect the evidence needed to prove your right to a financial recovery.
Speak with a Personal Injury Lawyer in Crestview, FL
Were you injured in an accident while on vacation in Crestview, Destin or any of the surrounding areas in the Florida Panhandle? If so, you can contact our personal injury law for a free and confidential consultation. To speak with an attorney about your case in confidence, please call 850-682-2757 or request an appointment online today.