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Four Steps You Should Take Immediately After a Car Accident

Car accidents range from extremely severe crashes to minor fender benders. No matter what kind of accident you’re involved in, it’s important to avoid panic and to take a few basic steps in the minutes following your collision. First and foremost, you’ll want to attend to your injuries and the injuries of anyone else involved in the crash. Everything else can wait until your health is evaluated. Second, you’ll want to preserve your legal options by connecting with an experienced Tampa, Florida car accident lawyer from Jeff Murphy Law. Once your health has been prioritized and your legal interests are being protected, your next steps will become clearer. If you’ve just suffered an accident, please consider the following steps – 

 

  1. Check Everyone for Injuries

Beginning with yourself, check everyone for injuries. If you are not injured severely, check on your passengers. After they have checked out, move to the other drivers and passengers in other cars. If pedestrians are involved, you should check on them as well.

 

If you are severely injured and unable to check on everyone else, it’s ok to stay put until someone who can help arrives on scene. If anyone is able to administer first aid, he or she should do so until professional medical personnel arrive.

 

  1. Contact the Police

Some states require you contact the police after an accident, but even in states where it’s not required, it’s a good idea. Calling 911 will get proper medical personnel there if you or anyone else needs medical assistance. The responding police officer will probably speak with everyone involved in the accident to get a better understanding of what happened. He or she will then write up a report that can be used during the claims process or as evidence for a lawsuit. If you are uncomfortable calling for law enforcement until you have your Tampa, FL car accident lawyer on scene, that’s okay. Call our firm and we’ll help to ensure that law enforcement are alerted while we’re en route to assist you. 

 

  1. Move to Safety

If you and the others involved in the accident are able to safely leave your cars, you should move to safety instead of hanging out in the middle of the road. If traffic allows and your physical abilities allow, you may want to push the cars out of the way as well. This can help others to avoid getting in an accident with your already crashed cars.

 

  1. Swap Information

Before you leave the scene, and even if the police officer has already done this, you should swap information with any other drivers involved in the accident. You’ll want both their contact information and their insurance information. It could benefit you to collect contact information for passengers and witnesses as well. If you have to leave the scene (in an ambulance) before you can obtain this information, your Tampa, FL car accident lawyer can help to track it down on your behalf. 

 

If you were involved in a car accident, there’s no time to waste. Contact an Tampa, FL car accident lawyer so you can get everything squared away as soon as possible, and so you can preserve your legal options and protect your rights. 

 

Next Steps

Florida car accidents typically bring about a lot of questions. You may wonder if you are okay immediately following the collision. Then, your mind fixates on the amount of property damage caused by the wreck. Then, as you go to the hospital and get checked out, the reality sets in. You are in over your head financially and you have no idea how to move forward. 

Thankfully, for victims struggling with injuries and property loss after an accident, there is a way forward. Car accident injury claims can help you recover some or all of your losses. However, you cannot delay. You must file before the statute of limitations runs out. A Tampa car accident lawyer from Jeff Murphy Law can answer all your questions and help pursue damages against the at-fault driver. 

Statute of Limitations

Every state has different laws regarding personal injury statutes. That means that if you have not filed within that limitation, then you lose your right to seek damages. In Florida, victims have up to four years from when they were injured to file their claim. However, depending on the age of the victim(s) and the negligent party or entity, you may have a longer timeline. A car accident lawyer in Tampa can determine when exactly the statute for your case expires. 

Minors and Statutes

Minors are not beholden to the same statute of limitations as adults. Most states agree that the clock should not start against a minor until they are 18. Therefore, if you are in an accident at the age of 16, then you have until you turn 18 plus the limitation, meaning that you would have until the age of 19 or 20 to file a personal injury claim, depending on your state.

Filing Against Public Entities

Unfortunately, if you wanted to file a claim against a public entity, you have a lot less time. For example, if you were riding a public bus when the accident occurred, you may only have a very limited time to file a lawsuit against the city. While this seems unfair, you can consult with a Tampa car attorney to find out if there is any leeway on the stricter timeline. For instance, if you sustain severe injuries or were in a coma, you may be able to cut through the red tape and file later than is typically permitted.

When you are in a car accident, you probably want to file sooner rather than later, unless you are a minor. However, to understand the statute of limitations and get a better idea of where your potential claim stands, you should contact an experienced Tampa car accident lawyer. Don’t wait to discuss your claim; talk to a lawyer, and figure out how to move forward before your time runs out.

Let a Tampa Car Accident Lawyer Help

If you have been injured in a car accident caused by another party, contact a car accident lawyer Tampa clients recommend from Jeff Murphy Law. Our legal team will work diligently to get you the financial compensation you deserve for the losses your injuries have caused you to suffer. Call our office today for a free and confidential consultation. 

3 Ways to Prevent a Road Rage Accident

Getting into an accident is something everyone tries to avoid, but when things get heated on the road, anything can happen. Road rage can become a real danger, especially during stressful traffic times or weather conditions. A car accident lawyer in Tampa, FL understands how road rage increases the risks of being injured in a crash. 

Some of the reasons why drivers exhibit road include:

  • People running late for work or an appointment, causing them to lose their patience.
  • Many drivers feel anonymous around other drivers they think they will never see again, thus they feel more comfortable doing disrespectful things like cutting other drivers off, tailgating, and honking more than necessary.
  • Some drivers are coming from an area where aggressive driving is the norm, especially big-city drivers.

It is good to understand how to play defense when you see an angry driver, and it’s even more important to know how to keep situations from escalating, especially when you yourself can become the angry driver. A Tampa, FL car accident lawyer can explain how a victim’s road rage can hurt their car accident lawsuit. 

  1. Plan Ahead and Stay Calm

It’s always better if you’re not in a hurry to get to where you’re going. This automatically will keep your stress levels lower while you’re driving. You can also do other things to stay calm like listening to good music, keeping your grip on the steering wheel relaxed, and deep breathing. It’s helpful to remember that everyone has their reasons for doing things the way they do them, such as slow drivers. There are many reasons someone could be driving slow, such as being lost or having car troubles.

  1. Avoid Engaging with Angry Drivers

While it’s sometimes tempting to get mad at another angry driver, this could escalate the situation into dangerous territory. Resist the temptation, let tailgaters go by, ignore angry gestures, honking horns, and try not to make eye contact. Keep as much space between the two of you as possible to stay out of an accident. It’s always good to make positive gestures when relevant, such as when someone lets you merge into traffic.

  1. Don’t Drive Home

If there is an overly aggressive driver that decides to follow you, do not drive home. Instead, drive to the nearest police station. It’s better not to find out what that person has in their mind! As well, if an angry driver stops at a stoplight and gets out of their car, do your best not to engage with them and do not get out of your vehicle.

Tampa, FL Car Accident Lawyer 

If you do get into a car accident with an angry driver, especially if it’s not your fault, consult with an experienced car accident lawyer Tampa, FL victims trust from Jeff Murphy Law. We will help ensure your case is handled fairly and that you receive the compensation you deserve for your vehicle damages and medical bills.

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