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Should You Call the Police Immediately After an Accident?

If you have been in a motor vehicle accident, you may be wondering if you should call the police. Especially if it was just a fender bender, it may seem like a waste of time to file a police report.

Each state has different requirements for when a traffic crash report should be taken by a police officer. Our Largo car accident lawyers are here to discuss when you need to contact the police, what is included on a police report, and how insurance claims work in Florida.

Florida Law on Police Reports

Contacting the Police

The police do not need to be contacted if you are involved in a minor crash. Under Florida law, a crash must be reported to law enforcement if any of the following applies:

Self-Reporting an Accident

If none of these circumstances apply, you can self-report the accident on the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website. You can complete the form online, by mail, or by stopping at the nearest police station or Florida Highway Patrol location.

This must be done within the first ten days of the accident. Again, you are only allowed to self-report if there were no injuries or property damage resulting from the collision. After 60 days, the report will be accessible to the public.

What is Included in a Police Report?

Now that we have established when you need to contact the police following an accident let us go over what information is on a police report.

A police report will contain the following:

Advantages of a Police Report

If you make a personal injury claim, your insurance company will want to see a police report. As discussed, a police report includes vital information pertaining to your accident.

A traffic crash report holds more weight than self-reporting an accident. If you did suffer injuries, having a report prepared by a police officer will likely make it easier for your auto insurer to compensate you.

Unlike a self-report, a police report is prepared by an impartial third party, which can increase the likelihood of a successful claim.

How Do I Make an Injury Claim?

Since Florida follows the laws of no-fault insurance, each driver will need to file a claim with their own auto insurer, regardless of fault.

Florida law requires all drivers to carry $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP). PIP covers 80% of all necessary medical expenses. It doesn't matter who caused the crash; if you were injured in an accident, PIP will cover ambulatory services, medical procedures and treatments, and prescription costs. However, you will be responsible for paying the remaining 20% of your medical bills.

Speak with a Largo Car Accident Lawyer

In the aftermath of a car accident, you may be in a complete daze. It is unlikely that you will be able to think clearly. That is where the assistance of a Largo car accident lawyer can be invaluable. If you have been the victim of a car crash, our attorneys are ready to assist you. Contact us today online or by calling 727-441-9030 to schedule your complimentary consultation.