how to handle an accident on us 19 or i 275 why interstate accidents are different

Jun 24, 2022

|Auto Accidents


Interstate accidents are among every driver’s biggest fears, and rightfully so. With high speeds, numerous others on the road, and relative isolation from police stations and ambulances, highway crashes can be scary. Unfortunately, they’re also extremely common. Every driver should understand the basics of protecting themselves in the face of an accident–especially in dangerous areas like Tampa Bay’s highways. Today, we’re going over some of our most useful tips for keeping yourself safe, both in the immediate and long-term aftermath of an accident on I-275 or US-19. Let’s get started.

The Reality of Highway Accidents

In 2019, US-19 alone saw nearly 3,000 car accidents. With more and more people moving to the Tampa Bay area each month, it’s natural to expect these numbers to rise. Tampa Bay is the third-most popular city for new residents in the United States. As Tampa’s highways start to see more traffic than ever, it becomes increasingly necessary for drivers to prepare themselves for the worst-case scenario.

We’re not trying to frighten you or to make you nervous. If you’re a safe and attentive driver, you’re doing your part to remain safe. With that said, part of being a responsible driver is to be prepared should an accident happen, and we’re here to give you the tools to make sure you are.

Staying Safe in the Immediate Aftermath

The immediate aftermath of a highway accident can be confusing, at best, and life-threatening, at worst. The most important thing to do is to make sure that you and any other passengers are safe.

Once you’ve taken stock of how everyone is doing, call 911 immediately. This is crucial even if everyone seems to be completely fine, as highway safety professionals will need to direct traffic in order to keep everyone else on the highway safe. If it’s safe to do so, stay put until the police arrives. If staying put would place you in danger, move to the side of the road or a safer location as soon as you can.

The most important thing to do is seek medical attention as soon as possible after the accident, even if nobody seems to have any serious injuries. Car accidents–especially high-speed ones–can cause a great deal of physical stress, and shock may prevent you from feeling the full extent of any injuries for minutes or hours. See a doctor to make sure you’re not missing anything potentially life-threatening.

Documentation on the Scene

Remember that your safety–and the safety of everyone else involved in the accident–comes first. Do not scramble to take photographs or document anything if you are injured, or if doing so would cause additional injury to yourself or others. However, if it is safe and harmless to do so, try to document as much of the crash as you possibly can. Take photos of the following:

  • Any damage done to your vehicle
  • The license plates of every car involved
  • Any injuries sustained by yourself or others
It’s also a good idea to take note of the badge numbers of the officers who arrive at the scene. If possible, ask them if they have the number of your accident’s police report available. If so, write that down. If not, contact the police station within a few days and ask for the report based on your information and the officers’ badge numbers.

Protecting Yourself Once You’ve Left the Scene

The thing about highway accidents is that they’re usually more expensive than the ones that happen on local roads. For one, high-speed accidents are likely to cause more damage to your car, leading to higher repair costs. You’re also likely to need towing for longer distances if your accident on the highway, which also leads to higher expenses.

Be sure to document all of the expenses you incur in the face of an accident, including towing and impounding, mechanics’ fees, insurance deductibles, missed hours from work, and medical expenses. Keep thorough records and ledgers of everything.

Highway accidents can carry a huge financial impact, and they put you in greater physical risk, too. If you were involved in an accident and were not at fault, this increased risk plays a part in your legal outcome: you could be entitled to a larger settlement due to the increased risk you were placed in. This is why it’s so important to speak to a trustworthy attorney in the aftermath of an accident–especially if you were not at fault. Don’t bear the financial, physical, and emotional burden of a highway accident on your own. Speak to a legal professional so that you’re aware of your options and equipped to take the action you need in order to get justice.

What to Do Now

If you were involved in a car accident and are interested in pursuing justice, the best thing you can do is start gathering all of the documentation you can get your hands on, including:

  • Police reports
  • Witness statements from any passenger or passersby, if possible
  • Copies of all expenses associated with the accident, from mechanics’ bills to medical bills.
  • Mechanics’ reports on the condition of your car and needed repairs
  • Documentation of missed work/reduced paychecks due to the accident
  • Additional expenses incurred as a result of the accident, including childcare, pet boarding, physical therapy, counseling, etc.
Documentation is your best friend if you’re interested in seeking justice, and so is a great attorney.

Be sure to speak to a lawyer who has a successful track record of advocating for families in Tampa Bay. It’s also a good idea to make sure that they are a contingency-based attorney, meaning you don’t get charged a dime unless your case is won. You deserve the peace of mind that comes with getting justice, and a great attorney will do their best to make sure you get it.

Protecting Yourself Once You’ve Left the Scene

If you were involved in a car accident on I-275, US-19, or any other highway in Tampa Bay, make sure you protect yourself and get the justice you deserve. Click here to learn more.


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