Do I Need to Call the Police After a Florida Car Accident?
Being in a car accident is both inconvenient and costly. Because of this, unless the accident appears serious, many people are tempted to just exchange information with the other driver and forgo calling the police, as they know that calling the police will just cost them more time out of their already busy day. Worse yet, many drivers don’t even exchange information and simply go on with their day. When asked, we always advise people that the police should be called after every Florida car accident. Here are three reasons why.
You May Not Immediately Know that You’ve Been Injured
Fortunately, many car accidents are minor and don’t result in any serious injury. However, just because an accident appears minor, does not mean that you can’t be seriously injured. Also, many times symptoms don’t even appear until after you’ve left the scene of the car accident and have had an opportunity to calm down. Sometimes, symptoms may not even begin to appear until a day or so after the accident.
If you don’t call the police, there will be no official record that your accident ever occurred. If symptoms of an injury later develop, the insurance company will likely argue either 1) that there is no proof that the accident ever happened, or 2) that you could not have been injured in the accident because it was so minor that it wasn’t worth reporting. You can avoid these arguments by simply calling the police and getting a report.
Unless the other driver in your car accident rear-ended you while you were stopped in traffic or at a traffic light, there will likely be some dispute as to how the accident happened, and who was at fault for causing it. While you may think that you have a good memory, or that any eye witnesses will remember the details of your accident, this is unlikely. People’s memories fade. That is why it is important that you call the police and get a report for your accident. This way the details of your accident, and any witness statements are documented.
The Law May Require You to Call the Police
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 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.
Trust SouthShore Injury Attorneys With Your Ruskin Car Accident Claim
After a car accident, it is important that you find a qualified Ruskin car accident attorney to handle your personal injury claim. The attorneys at SouthShore Injury Attorneys handle only personal injury claims and are experienced in representing injury victims throughout the State of Florida. If you’ve suffered injuries in a Ruskin car accident, contact SouthShore Injury Attorneys at (813) 419-3866 for a free consultation.
If you have questions about your Florida accident case, you can download our Free Reports:
which are available at our website, or you can click the link provided. You can also contact us at (813) 419-3866 to talk directly to a Ruskin personal injury attorney now.