Peter Catania | January 27, 2022 | Car Accidents
Florida is among the states with the most car accidents annually. Therefore, it is very important to exercise caution when driving in Florida, especially in densely-populated cities like Tampa. The more cars on the road, the greater your odds of being involved in a collision.
You can be involved in a car accident even if you are the most careful driver on the road. While you might obey traffic rules and practice safe driving habits, you can’t control how others will behave. You might get in a car accident through no fault of your own.
However, not all car accidents are severe. They don’t always result in injury or property damage. If your car accident seems minor, you might wonder whether it’s necessary to report the accident to the police.
You should make sure you report your accident to 911 if you’re ever involved in one. As this overview will explain, you may have a legal obligation to inform the police of your accident — even if the accident is not very serious. Additionally, filing a police report can potentially help you secure compensation for any losses you may have sustained in the aftermath of a collision.
When You Need to Report a Car Accident in Tampa
It’s always wise to report a car accident to the police regardless of the severity. In Florida, you must report a car accident if it results in any of the following:
- Injury to anyone involved in the accident
- Property damage worth $500 or more
In reality, you should report a car accident in Tampa under almost any circumstances. There are several reasons why.
Why You Should Always Report a Car Accident
First, it can be difficult to estimate the dollar value of the property damage an accident causes. It’s best to err on the side of caution and assume that the accident has resulted in at least $500 or property damage.
Second, some of the injuries related to a collision may not be immediately noticeable. The fact that an accident doesn’t appear to have caused harm to you or other motorists doesn’t mean there are no injuries.
Finally, calling 911 after an accident and cooperating with the officer filing the report may be important if you decide to seek compensation for your medical bills or other losses after an accident.
How a Police Report Can Help Your Injury Claim
Florida is technically a no-fault state. In Florida, your own (PIP) insurer is responsible for compensating you after a car accident — regardless of who caused the accident.
That said, you should remember that insurance companies are profit-driven businesses. Your insurer’s goal is to maximize their profits and minimize their financial losses.
The odds are good your insurer will try to find reasons to deny or undervalue your claim. You can improve your chances of recovering fair compensation by providing a copy of an objective police report describing the circumstances of your accident.
Florida law also allows a car accident victim to seek additional compensation from an at-fault driver if their injuries and/or losses are “serious.” Victims do this by filing a claim with the party’s liability insurer. A police report can provide evidence of the driver’s fault for the accident. It can also corroborate your version of events and connect your injuries to the crash.
The main point to understand is that there is a good chance you have a legal responsibility to call 911 after being involved in a Tampa car accident. This may seem inconvenient. But in the long run, you’ll likely be very glad you took the time to report the collision.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in Tampa, FL
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