If you have witnessed a Florida car accident, you know that in the aftermath there is chaos and confusion. It is important for drivers to remain calm and take the appropriate steps to help ensure that all legal processes are completed. In Florida, that means you must stop at the scene of your accident, render aid to others involved, exchange information, and call the police.
However, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) reports that drivers who share too much information may be putting themselves at risk for identity theft. Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes in the United States, according to the NAIC. Federal statistics show that nearly 9 million Americans have their identities stolen each year.
According to NAIC President and Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin M. McCarty, “The last thing you’re probably thinking about following a car accident is protecting your privacy. Understanding what information to share, and with whom, will help keep you safe after an accident and decrease some of the challenges of filing a claim later on.”
Follow a Checklist When Collecting Information
The NAIC, the standard-setting and regulatory support organization created and governed by the chief insurance regulators in the United States, announced earlier this month it has created a smartphone app for car accident victims to “take the guesswork out of auto accidents,” and to “help consumers protect themselves, their property and their identities during one of life’s most high pressure events.”
The app, WreckCheck, provides users with a checklist to record vital accident information. The app allows users to photograph the scene, enter information about the accident and accident site, including information about the other driver and his/her car, and capture witness information. Once all information is collected, the app compiles it into an accident report.
NAIC stresses that drivers should not exchange or share their driver’s licenses with anyone at the accident scene other than law enforcement officers. They should also not allow anyone to photograph their driver’s license. Information such as date of birth that are included on the driver’s license is not needed in the event of an accident, and may be a source of identity theft. NAIC recommends following the requirements of the state when exchanging information.
For more information on what to do after a Florida car accident see “Automobile Insurance: A Toolkit for Consumers” from the Florida Department of Financial Services.
Florida Law Firm Can Help with Accident Insurance Claims
Florida insurance companies require minimal information to process claims. Florida uses the “Driver Exchange of Information” form to collect appropriate information. Typically, the responding police officer completes the form, supplies a copy to all drivers, and files it with the accident report. However, if you were injured in the accident, the process can be complex and require medical information and further investigation.
If you have been in an accident, it is important to contact a South Florida personal injury attorney to ensure your rights are protected. Our Treasure Coast auto accident attorneys ask that drivers follow Florida law and exchange appropriate information. We also ask that you protect any information provided to you and use it only for the benefit of resolving the accident claim.
Contact an Experienced Florida Car Accident Lawyer
If you or one of your loved ones has been injured in a Florida car accident, immediately seek experienced legal counsel. I am attorney Philip DeBerard. I have three decades of legal experience representing people who were injured in car accidents or have other personal injury claims.
The law firm of Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney, represents victims of automobile crashes in Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, Jupiter, Stuart, Okeechobee, Vero Beach and Palm Beach. If character traits such as integrity, dedication and compassion are what you seek in an accident lawyer, call Philip DeBerard. Choosing the right accident lawyer does make a difference.
Call 1-800-299-8878 to speak with a knowledgeable Florida car accident attorney or fill out our online contact form.