Do I Have to File a Police Report after a Florida Car Accident?
You’ve just been involved in a crash. Although you are naturally shaken up, you don’t think that you’ve suffered a serious injury, and your vehicle doesn’t appear to have much damage. The tempting thing to do is to simply exchange insurance information with the other driver, as you likely have places to go and you don’t want to spend a lot of time waiting for the Police to arrive. Should you do this?
From a legal standpoint, Florida law requires you to file a police report only if you meet certain requirements. Those requirements are found in Florida Statute §316.066, which requires you to contact the police and file a police report in any accident that causes:
$500 in property damage to either or both vehicles;
Any injuries, “complaints of pain or discomfort,” or death;
Any vehicle to require towing from the scene;
Involved a commercial motor vehicle; or
Involved a drunk driver
If any of these requirements are met, a report must be filed. If you do not call the Police from the scene, the law provides that you must do so within 10 days from the date of the crash. You can do this by contacting the appropriate law enforcement agency who has jurisdiction for your accident, which may be the city police, the sheriff’s department, or the Florida Highway Patrol.
Will a Police Report Help With My Apollo Beach Personal Injury Claim?
Yes! Anytime you are in a Florida motor vehicle accident, you should call the Police and get a crash report. There are several reasons for this. The first is to document the accident. This will prevent the other driver from claiming the accident did not happen, or that it did not happen how you claim it did. More importantly, this will be your first opportunity to document your injuries and complaints. Always tell the investigating officer of every pain you are experiencing, whether you think it is bad or not. This will be important for your injury claim. Insurance companies love to focus on the information contained in the crash report. If you do not file one, the insurance company will argue that your crash was not serious, so there is no way you could’ve been injured. The same is true if you don’t tell the officer of any pain you may be experiencing at the scene.
If you have questions about your Florida accident case, you can download our Free Reports:
which is available at our website, or you can click the link provided. You can also contact us at (813) 419-3866 to talk directly to an Apollo Beach Personal Injury Attorney now.