What to Do After a Car Accident That Was Not Your Fault

What to Do After a Car Accident That Was Not Your Fault

It’s safe to say nobody ever plans on getting into a car accident. But the fact is that even if you are the safest and most careful driver, accidents still happen. When you are in an accident caused by someone else, it can be extremely stressful and come with a lot of questions.

From what to do in the immediate aftermath to how to deal with medical expenses and transportation, many people are unsure of all the specifics. To help, the experienced team at Clark Hartpence Law is sharing this informative overview to guide you through the aftermath of a car accident that was not your fault.

Follow These Steps If You Were In an Accident That Was Not Your Fault

There are some basic steps that any person in any type of car accident should always follow. These include:

  • Get out of traffic unless your vehicle is inoperable
  • Do not leave the scene of the accident
  • Assess the immediate level of injury of you and any passengers in your car
  • If you are safely able to, see if the other driver is injured and make any reasonable effort to provide assistance
  • Notify police and emergency medical responders if needed
  • Exchange contact information with the other party
  • Take pictures of the scene of the accident and both vehicles
  • Do not do anything to admit fault or guilt, and do not accuse the other party — the police and insurance carriers perform independent investigations to make these assessments. Admitting or expressing any kind of fault can increase your risk of liability or negligence
  • Report the accident to your insurance carrier

Even if it seems like you were not injured, always get an assessment from onsite medical technicians or with your doctor as soon as possible. Car accident injuries often have a delayed onset and it’s important to identify and begin treatment for an injury as soon as possible.

What If You Are Injured?

Florida is a “no-fault state,” which means under the law, every driver must have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage on their insurance policy to cover medical expenses regardless of who caused the accident. So if you were in an accident that was not your fault, your medical expenses will be covered one way or the other.

It is critical to receive an immediate diagnosis for any car accident-related injuries. Not only does this help you get ahead of treatment and manage your pain, but it also establishes a medical record that ties your injuries directly to the car accident. Do not let concerns over coverage and finances stop you from seeing a doctor — it will be covered, especially if you did not cause the accident.

What If You Lose or Don’t Have Access to Your Vehicle?

Vehicles after accidents are often totally damaged or they need extensive repairs that keep them in the shop for weeks or longer. Access to a rental car during this time is dependent on the specifics of your insurance policy. If you were not at fault, the other party’s insurance may also cover rental car expenses.

This is one area where working with an attorney can help streamline the process of negotiating with insurance companies to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Who Pays Your Deductible?

In most cases, the driver who is not at fault does not have to pay the deductible for their insurance policy. This should be covered by the other party’s insurance. This is why it is so important not to say or do anything that could potentially be used against you by the other party.

Florida is a comparative negligence state. This means that both parties can be held partially liable for damages in proportion to their degree of fault. Admitting to anything at the scene of the accident or expressing any kind of responsibility could diminish the strength of your claim, including whether the other party’s insurance will cover your deductible.

How An Attorney Can Help

The aftermath of an accident, even one that is not your fault, is very complicated. In an ideal situation, both insurance carriers will conduct an investigation, determine fault, and pay compensation for injuries and property damage according to the policies.

In the real world, there can be any number of complications, from conflicting witnesses, the other party changing their story, or the other party not having insurance coverage. On top of this, all insurance carriers have an incentive to minimize their payout on any claim.

An experienced and knowledgeable attorney knows how to work with insurance companies, law enforcement, medical professionals, car repair services, and any other parties to ensure the investigation is conducted properly, and you receive the compensation you are entitled to.

Call Clark Hartpence Law If You’ve Been in a Car Accident in Tampa Bay

If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident, call us at (855) 680-4911 or schedule a free consultation online. At Clark Hartpence Law, our dedicated attorneys regularly represent clients involved in motor vehicle accidents and we can help you determine the best next step. If you did not cause the accident, you should be fully protected and receive the compensation you deserve.

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship.