Gulfport is a relatively small city in Pinellas County, Florida. It borders St. Petersburg and Boca Ciega Bay. Gulfport has a small population and there isn’t a ton of through-traffic due to its southern location on the water. However, like any other city, car accidents happen. When they do, it is best to be prepared and knowledgeable.
The most common road for car accidents in the area is Gulfport Blvd S. This road has a serious turn near Stetson College of Law. This turn causes many cars, motorcycles, and trucks to lose control. While not as common for high-speed accidents, we also see issues from Pasadena Yacht and Golf Club. Additionally, because of the number of back streets with stop signs, there are constantly accidents off the main roads. Gulfport has a relatively high percentage of elderly drivers that contribute to the likelihood of driving mistakes.
What Steps to Take After a Car Accident in Gulfport
Call the Police:
You should report every car accident to the police regardless of the severity of the impact or what the other driver tells you. If the accident is in Gulfport, then Gulfport PD or the Florida Highway Patrol will have jurisdiction over the accident. Sometimes, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department will assist depending on the circumstances. But, contacting law enforcement is important because they perform an investigation, get witness information and make a decision as to who was at fault. While this determination is not always conclusive, it assists the insurance companies to apportion fault and start the valuation of the claim. Far too many times I see people fail to contact law enforcement and simply exchange insurance information. What they do not know is that the insurance company is not bound by whatever the other driver said to you. Additionally, if the other driver changes his or her story about what happened and you have no independent witnesses, you will have a tough time establishing your claim. I have a current case involving a parking lot accident. An elderly lady backed into my client’s car. My client felt sorry for the woman, did not call the police and just got her insurance information. After the fact, the elderly lady changed her story and said my client was speeding through the parking lot. Fortunately, my client obtained the information from an independent witness who confirmed that my client was stopped and actually honking her horn at the elderly lady prior to the impact. But, I use this as an example of how you simply cannot rely on the other driver or the other driver’s insurance company to do the right thing in any situation.
Get Your Injuries Checked Out:
It is extremely important to seek medical treatment for the car accident as soon as possible. Every day that you go without getting checked out lowers the value of your case. The insurance companies’ rationale is that if you wait to get treatment, your injuries can’t be that serious. While I agree that is a ridiculous position to take, it is the reality of injury claims.
If you need emergency medical care, most people injured in Gulfport will go to Palms of Pasadena Hospital, St. Pete General Hospital, St. Anthony’s Hospital or Bayfront Hospital. All are reasonably close to Gulfport.
If you don’t feel that you need to go to the hospital, but still need to be checked out, I recommend going to an Urgent Care or Walk-In Clinic.
If you do not need a hospital or Urgent Care, then you still should set an appointment with a Doctor who handles car accident cases immediately. Please note that most primary care providers do not treat auto or car accidents. Fortunately, there are many car accident specialists near Gulfport that can help. There are many treatment providers in St. Petersburg that will only take a few minutes to get to.
While most of the investigation is out of your hands, there are a few steps that you can take to protect yourself and help your claim. First, get contact information for any witnesses. Even though it is the job of the police to get this information, you would be shocked about how many times we find this missing or inaccurate in police reports. Second, take pictures of the positions of the cars. If you have already moved the cars off of the road, that is fine, but any data that you can save about how the cars ended up is helpful. Third, take pictures of the damage to all of the cars involved in the accident. Again, you would be surprised about how many people make minor repairs before the insurance company inspects the vehicle. Fourth, take pictures of any visible injuries. Most common injuries that can be seen immediately are cuts or abrasions from the seatbelt. But, whatever your injury is, document it. This will help the insurance company understand the extent of the injury and place a more accurate value on it.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney
We hope that you are never injured in a car accident in Gulfport. But, unfortunately, unexpected accidents happen all the time. At St Petersburg Personal Injury Attorney Attorneys McQuaid & Douglas, we have been handling car accident cases in Gulfport for decades. In fact, we handle more car accidents and personal injury claims from Gulfport than any other law firm. Jonathon Douglas and I are intimately familiar with every aspect of a claim from Gulfport. We know all of the medical providers, the law enforcement agencies and the insurance adjusters that handle the claims. Not only is our office about a half-mile from Gulfport, but Jonathon and I both spent three years attending Stetson College of Law. If you are looking for a car accident lawyer to assist you with your claim, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation. You can either come to our office or we can come to your home if the circumstances warrant it.