5 Steps to Take After a Clearwater Car Accident

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Many people agree that Clearwater, Florida, is one of the better parts of the state in which to live. You can enjoy the lovely weather, check out the beaches, go fishing, and more. However, you should watch out for car accidents if you live there as well.

More than 44 crashes happen daily in Clearwater. You should know what to do if you’re in one, and we’ll talk about that right now. Keep these five steps in mind if you get in an accident in the Clearwater area.

Get the Car Off the Road if You Can

Highways run through Clearwater, including US Route 19 and Florida State Road 590. They see a lot of traffic, especially during the vacation season. You’ll see a lot of SUVs and vans, not to mention motorcycles, RVs, etc.

If you hit another vehicle on one of the highways in Clearwater, or a quiet side street, for that matter, you’ll first want to move the car out of the road if you can. If you’re hurt, you’ll need someone else to do it for you.

You should realize, though, that another accident can happen if you stay in the vehicle or in the middle of the road. Moving yourself, your passengers, and the car out of the road is the first thing you should attempt.

Check Yourself and Your Passengers for Injuries

You’ll next want to check yourself for injuries. You can check every body part while waiting for the adrenaline to wear off. Usually, you get an adrenaline rush when a car hits you. You might not realize at first that you’ve injured yourself.

If you seem okay, you can check out your passengers next. Ask them if they have any injuries. If you have any young children in the car, look all over their bodies to see if the accident harmed them.

If you sustained an injury, or if anyone else did, you should call 911 at that point. You can describe what happened and ask them to send the paramedics. If you can describe your surroundings, they will find that helpful. They can also track your cell phone, though, so keep that in mind if you’re not sure about your exact location.

Call the Police

Even if you sustained no injuries, calling 911 should be next on your list. If you see that no one in your car suffered physical harm, you can tell the 911 operator that. However, you might also check to see if the other driver or anyone in their vehicle sustained any injuries. If so, make sure you tell the 911 operator.

Maybe you don’t have a cell phone on you. If not, you can ask whether anyone else in your car has one. It’s unusual for no one to have a smartphone on them, but it does happen sometimes. Maybe the accident damaged your only phone, or you can’t find it in the wreckage.

You can ask the other driver or someone in the other car to call 911 for you and report the accident. Hopefully, they should have no issue doing that.

Keep in mind, though, that the other driver might be irate because of what happened. Whether they caused the accident or not, some people react to car accidents badly.

You might have to stay away from the other driver until they calm down. Road rage and car accidents go hand in hand, and you don’t want to communicate with the other driver if they’re screaming at you or threatening you.

Ask any bystanders to call the police and paramedics if necessary, just so long as someone does. Stay in the car and wait for the police if you’re worried the other driver or passengers from the other vehicle could harm you.

Tell the Police What Happened

When the police arrive, you can give them a statement. If you need medical attention, the ambulance can take you to a medical facility, and you can provide a report later. Make sure you get medical attention if you need it urgently. You can worry about talking to the cops afterward.

Assuming you’re okay, try to tell the police exactly what happened. Mention only the facts, and don’t exaggerate or embellish.  

You might feel like it’s your fault, or maybe you blame the other driver. It’s best not to talk about fault or blame when you first speak to the police, though. You will need to talk to your insurance company and figure all that out, but those steps come later. For now, just tell the police a bare-bones account that omits no detail.

The police will want your insurance information, so have that with you. They’ll want to see your driver’s license, so try to have that ready.

Figure Out What to Do with Your Car

At this point, you can figure out what to do with your car. If you only had a fender bender, you might drive it away with no issues. However, your vehicle may look okay, but it sustained more damage than you realize.

If you need to call for a tow truck, you can do that. You might have AAA or some other service you can call that will pay for the tow job. If not, you’ll have to pay for it out of pocket.

You can get the tow truck driver to give you a lift to the garage where they’ll look at your car. If they can’t give you a ride, you can call someone you know to come get you, or you can call for a taxi or an Uber.

Once you get your ride, you can go see how much damage the car sustained. Then, you can call your insurance company and report the accident. You should also expect the other driver’s insurance company to contact you, assuming they have insurance.

These are the steps you should memorize and follow if you get in a Clearwater car accident. 

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