Personal Injury Lawyer Fort Lauderdale, FL
If you have just been in an accident, a lot is running through your mind at once, as a personal injury lawyer Fort Lauderdale, FL trusts understands. While you’re still at the scene it’s most important to assess safety and make contact with other drivers and witnesses. Stay calm and keep in mind what valuable information you may need in the future: things like photos of injuries, damage, and contact information for others involved can prove vital.
What should I do first?
The most important thing is to get to safety and call for help. Assess your own injuries followed by those around you. Are other passengers hurt? What about the driver and passengers in the other vehicle.
If one of the vehicles is on fire, or if it is still located in the middle of a roadway, a personal injury lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, FL may recommend that you move away to a safe area if you can.
If the injuries and damage are not severe, it may be tempting to not call for help. But the importance of calling law enforcement should not be overlooked. Their accident report can be key in securing a settlement or damages.
Do I need to find witnesses?
Often, accidents may happen on busy highways, fast-moving intersections, or remote roadways where no one else was around.
When you’re involved in a crash where they may have been witnesses, it’s important to make contact with those individuals and encourage them to remain at the scene.
These witnesses may be other drivers, pedestrians, or bicyclists. Look around – what else do you see? Are there any construction workers or small businesses? It’s possible someone may have caught a glimpse of the crash, even from behind a storefront window. Or, the building could have security cameras.
If you are not hurt and can safely approach any of these individuals, you may learn one of them can help your case.
What if the witness says they don’t want to stay or talk to police?
Look, we know we’re all busy. And getting into an auto accident certainly isn’t helping the agenda for your own day. But when a witness explains they have somewhere more important to be, it can be disheartening. You’re trying to piece together what happened, and someone who may have valuable information won’t participate.
A personal injury lawyer in Fort Lauderdale FL of the Law Offices of Needle & Ellenberg, PA have represented many auto accident victims just like you, and we have spoken to countless witnesses. While memories will be most clear immediately after the accident, just because a witness leaves the scene doesn’t mean they won’t help in the future.
If you’re talking to a witness who refuses to stay at the scene, here’s what a Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer may recommend you do:
- Try to interview them on your cell phone. Ask if they will participate in a short conversation, detailing what they saw. Be sure to also get them to share their name and contact information on the video.
- Get their contact information. If they won’t talk to you at the scene, ask if they are willing to at least share their contact information so that you may pass it on to law enforcement or insurance companies.
- Share your contact information. If a witness still refuses to stick around or talk to police, then try giving your own phone number to them. Politely remind them that their participation in the investigation won’t get them in any trouble, but it will help to resolve any disputes between drivers and/or insurance companies.
- Remind them it’s only a witness statement. It’s rare that auto accidents go to trial. Insurance companies often settle well before that point. Witnesses should understand once they have submitted a statement to police and perhaps taken a call from an insurance agent, their participation is typically over.
The Law Offices of Needle & Ellenberg, PA knows how vital it is to make contact with witnesses right away, and make them comfortable with the process ahead. Call a personal injury lawyer Fort Lauderdale FL trusts today to get started on your case.