As a follow-up to our blog “Top 3 Things To Do After A Car Accident”, we’re sharing a personal story from an attorney in our office, and what he did immediately after his vehicle side-swiped:
This accident occurred near downtown Miami in the pouring down rain, and even though it was only 5:30 pm, it was dark as night. I was at a stop light in the far-left lane of on a one-way street with three lanes. When the light turned green, I proceeded like normal and entered the intersection. While I was in the intersection, the vehicle in the middle lane entered the left lane and hit my vehicle, completely scraping the entire length of the passenger side. It was quite startling and fortunately, there was open street parking on the side of the road, and I was able to immediately stop in one of those spaces. The other driver pulled right in behind me.
The rain was relentless. I grabbed an umbrella and immediately got out of vehicle to inspect the damage and figure out what happened. I saw the other driver exit his vehicle and he told me he had one passenger in his car, and that neither were injured. I called the police, and they advised that because of the rain and rush hour traffic, that it would take three hours for them to get there. Because it was a somewhat minor accident with no injuries, and with my experience as an insurance adjuster and attorney, I decided to take matters into my own hands.
The other driver was amicable and apologetic, and like me, he did not want to wait three hours in the rain for the police. I told him that the best we could do under the circumstances was to exchange information, record a video of the damages, and conduct an on-camera interview as to what happened. I took photos of the damage, his driver’s license, his insurance card, and his vehicle’s registration and tag. I then proceeded to ask him some questions on camera, where he admitted fault by saying he tried to turn into a gas station and did not see my car. I called the police back and advised that we had exchanged information, and because it was taking so long and no one was injured, we did not require their assistance.
After the accident, I contacted the other driver’s insurance company, and worked with the adjuster to forward him all the photos I took and the video of the other driver admitting fault. They ultimately accepted liability and paid for the damage to my vehicle.
Ideally, I would have waited for the police, but I felt comfortable gathering all the necessary information and evidence at the scene. If the other driver was not so cooperative or the accident was more severe, I likely would have insisted on waiting for the police. With or without the police, this is an example of some things you can do at the scene to start documenting the accident and gathering evidence that will help your case.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident in Tampa or the surrounding areas of South Florida, Robert Sparks Attorneys is here to help. Call or contact us to request a free consultation.