After a severe weather event, such as the recent hurricane, Irma, getting back home can be difficult. There are downed trees and power lines on the road, or the roads may be flooded. While driving, please remember that standing water is often deeper than it appears.

Also, following traffic laws is more important than ever with hazardous roadways. In these conditions, often the traffic signals are not working which creates another danger.

In Boca Raton, or anywhere in Florida, what do you do when the traffic lights are out?

According to Florida law, any instance of a traffic light not working means the intersection is treated as a four-way stop. In other words, drivers must act like there is a stop sign on every corner. The first person to the intersection goes first, and everyone takes turns according to when they came to a complete stop. If two cars arrive at the intersection at the same time, the person on the right has the right of way.

In our busy traffic, this may cause a backup, but try to be patient. Everyone wants to get back home after severe weather, and tempers can be short. Be careful, and be safe. If an auto accident occurs, it can be tricky to determine who is at fault. You believe that you were at the intersection first, but so does the other party(s) involved. The fault can be difficult to determine.

If you are in a car accident in Boca Raton or nearby when stop lights are out, here’s what you need to do immediately:

  1. If someone is injured, call for medical help right away. Follow the instructions of the 911 dispatcher as they are the experts, and were not just recently in an auto accident. If you were hurt in the car accident, seek medical attention for yourself whether you feel injured or not.
  2. Take pictures of the cars and the scene of the crash if you can do so without putting yourself in danger from moving traffic.
  3. If you can, move your vehicle out of the intersection. Don’t block traffic, move your car to where you are not in harm’s way from other vehicles.
  4. Be sure to contact the police. If damages appear to be over $500, they will file a report to document the conditions of the accident along with any vehicle damage.
  5. Exchange information with the other parties involved in the accident. Get their name and insurance information, and give them yours. Also, get the names and contact information for anyone who might have witnessed the accident. Witness are sometimes not on the police report, so be sure to keep this information; it may come in handy in the future.
  6. Watch what you say. Often, we feel badly that an accident occurred, even when it’s not our fault and we apologize. However, saying sorry is NOT something you should say to the other driver following an accident. It can be considered an admission of guilt and held against you.
  7. Lastly, contact a reputable personal injury attorney in Boca Raton, even if you don’t appear to be injured. They will advise you of your rights Personal injury attorneys deal with these types of situations every day and are experts situations like this.

Hiring a knowledgeable personal injury attorney in Boca Raton will help determine fault and sort out issues such as who should pay for medical bills and other expenses after a car accident.

At SEM Law Group Law, our personal injury lawyers at will help you navigate the challenging process after a car accident. During this emotionally difficult time, let us handle the legal details, while you focus on returning to health. Call us today at 561-939-8042, or contact us online!