Although you may think having the police involved with a car accident may not always be necessary, not reporting the incident could end up hurting the value of your claim. Learn how having a police report may help improve your chances of recovering the fair amount of compensation you may need to cover medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and other financial losses.
Whether you or a loved one was injured in a collision, consulting with a licensed attorney is highly recommended. A good attorney can help you obtain important documentation such as police reports and other valuable evidence to help strengthen your claim. When you hire reputable legal representation, your legal rights are protected so you can pursue fair compensation to cover your damages.
If you need legal advice about your situation, you can contact a dependable car accident lawyer at Frankl & Kominsky today. Our experienced team of legal professionals has handled cases throughout the state of Florida, including the Miami area (by appointment only). We offer a free initial evaluation of your claim during your first no-obligation consultation. Our goal is to help you seek the compensation you need for a healthy recovery.
When Calling the Police May Be Necessary
Although not all fender benders require you to contact the police, it is recommended you do so to avoid any legal issues that may arise later. Florida law does require you to immediately notify the local authorities in cases involving injury, death, an intoxicated driver, a hit-and-run, or property damage exceeding $500.
Although you may be apprehensive about contacting the local authorities about your car accident, failing to do so could be a mistake for several important reasons:
- Injuries – If anyone is injured you should try to get to a safe area and call 9-1-1 immediately. You are legally obligated to assist any injured parties if possible and notify the proper authorities. The police may also be needed to clear traffic and provide other forms of support, including medical care.
- Credibility – Having a copy of the accident report adds a layer of credibility to your claim. If you do not have a police report, the insurance company could use this as a reason to deny your claim, saying that your injury may have been caused by something other than what you claim.
- Evidence – Although the official police report may not be submitted as evidence in a court of law, it could be extremely helpful when negotiating a settlement with insurers. The police can document facts about the accident that may help back your claim.
The officer investigating the scene is required by law to submit the crash report within 10 days after the investigation is complete. If you choose not to report your car crash to the police, it is your word against the other driver(s) and you may not succeed when seeking legal compensation.
Do I Need to Notify My Insurance Provider?
When you purchase auto insurance you are essentially agreeing to a contract with your provider. Insurance policies usually have a stipulation in the terms and conditions that require you to report the accident. If you fail to notify the insurance company about your accident, you could be disqualified from the right to pursue financial compensation.
However, it is important not to divulge too much information or admit fault for the accident to the insurance companies without speaking to a licensed attorney first. Only provide the basic information to insurance adjusters or agents, such as:
- When and where the accident happened
- Whether you or anyone else was injured
- Whether there was any property damage
If you say too much to the insurance adjuster, he or she may try to use your words against you, which may hurt the value of your claim. Hiring legal representation means that your lawyer can communicate with the insurance companies on your behalf to ensure that your legal rights to pursue compensation are protected.
Not obtaining a copy of the police report means that your claim will most likely be denied by the insurance company. If you are having trouble obtaining a copy, the reputable attorneys at Frankl & Kominsky may be able to assist you.
What if I Fail to Call the Police?
If you do not report the accident to the police as required under Florida Statute 316.062, you could face up to 60 days in jail if there was only property damage. However, if someone was seriously injured or died in the crash, you could be charged with a serious felony.
Judges will commonly issue harsh penalties to individuals who fail to report a serious accident. You could be charged with leaving the scene of an accident and accused of having something illegal to hide such as driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.
Whether you were at-fault or not, you could end up making your situation much worse by not contacting the proper authorities.
Contact a Law Firm You Can Trust
If you need legal assistance regarding your car crash claim, you can contact the trusted law firm of Frankl & Kominsky today to speak with one of our experienced attorneys. We have over 40 years of combined legal experience protecting the rights of car crash victims throughout Florida, including the Miami area (by appointment only).
Our distinguished attorneys have a proven track record of customer satisfaction. Take a look at our excellent client testimonials page to see how well we have helped accident victims over the years.
We do not charge for your first consultation to discuss what happened and we always keep everything confidential, so there is no risk to you for contacting us. If your claim has merit, you could be eligible to receive compensation to cover past, present and future out-of-pocket medical costs, lost income from missing work, pain and suffering, property damage, and other costs associated with the accident.
Frankl & Kominsky. Never Settle for Less. Call (855) 800-8000 anytime, 24/7.