Updated: Oct 5
If you are not a stranger to our blog then you know how important a police report can be to your case. Police reports take an unbiased third-party opinion of what went down at the scene of that accident after speaking to both parties involved. So what if you decide not to call the police and later decide to file a claim, can you do so? Let our accident attorneys give you the run down so you have all of the information you need.
Is a police report required in the state of Florida after an accident?
According to the Florida Statute you are required to file a police report after an accident but there are some exceptions to that rule. While this may not apply to many accidents, if the property damage incurred as a result of the accident was under $500 you do not have to file a police report. Although this is the case it is ALWAYS recommended to complete a Driver’s exchange of information form, you can find one on the FLHSMV website to utilize in this case.
Can you file a personal injury claim without a police report in the state of Florida?
Yes, you absolutely can file a personal injury claim without a police report, but it just makes your case that much more difficult to settle. Without a report to establish exactly what happened by an outside third party it is your word against the other drivers. That gives the opportunity for the other person to lie or pretend that nothing happened. Also if you need to pursue a personal injury you’ll need as much proof as possible and a police report is a crucial piece in the overall case.
In Addition to just the paper and eye witness account of the accident occurring, it will also be difficult to prove that your injuries were caused by the accident. In order to file a claim you must have proof that serious injury occurred as a result of the collision with the at-fault driver.
Florida Law May Require a Police Report in Your Circumstances
Although being a legal requirement for an automobile accident, some situations require written reports of crashes. The police report is mandatory in certain circumstances relating to a car accident overall, such as injuries sustained, the extent of damages, etc. Here are all the circumstance in which a police report is required:
1. Accidents Involving Injuries or Fatalities:
In Florida, it is mandatory to report accidents involving injuries or fatalities to the local law enforcement agency. This includes accidents where anyone, including passengers, pedestrians, or other drivers, sustains injuries or tragically loses their life as a result of the accident.
2. Hit-and-Run Incidents:
If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident in Florida, where the other party leaves the scene without exchanging information or providing assistance, you should immediately contact the police to report the incident. A police report is crucial in such cases to help identify the at-fault driver.
3. Accidents Resulting in Property Damage:
Florida law also requires a police report when the accident results in property damage exceeding $500. This threshold includes damage to vehicles, public property, or other structures. Even if there are no apparent injuries, you should call the police to document the accident if the property damage surpasses this amount.
4. Suspicion of DUI or Criminal Activity:
When there is suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) or criminal activity associated with the accident, such as reckless driving or fleeing the scene, law enforcement should be called to the scene to investigate. A police report will document any criminal elements.
5. Disputes Over Fault or Liability:
In cases where there is a dispute over fault or liability for the accident, it is advisable to involve the police. They can conduct an impartial investigation, interview witnesses, and gather evidence that may help determine who is at fault. The police report can be essential for insurance claims and legal proceedings.
6. Uncooperative Parties:
If the other party involved in the accident is uncooperative, refuses to exchange information, or is hostile, it is prudent to involve law enforcement. They can ensure that necessary information is collected and facilitate a peaceful resolution to the situation.
7. Insurance Requirements:
Many insurance companies in Florida may require a police report to process a claim, especially for accidents involving injuries or significant property damage. Reporting the accident to the police ensures you have the necessary documentation for your insurance claim.
While you may be questioning if your accident qualifies under these categories the best piece of advice is to always first call the police and then a car accident attorney. Even if it's a minor car accident it is best to have the aid of both a police officer and an accident attorney.
Should I report an accident to my insurance company without a police report?
While it is difficult in many instances to file a care insurance claim without a police report, it is not a requirement. However, some situations can occur when a claim is filed against a person and they need police assistance to gather strong evidence as support to your claim.
In most situations, it is your obligation to tell your insurance what has occurred and allow them to help you handle the overall situation. It is also very important to check your policies and to see exactly what your coverages handle. If you need legal advice on your car accident case, contact a personal injury attorney. They will offer you a free consultation and be able to explain to you what your options are and whether or not you can pursue damages from the liable party.
How can I file a car accident claim without a police report?
A complaint may be filed without the assistance of an officer at a police station. A police report may increase the time taken to file a claim, but you should always ask for an accident attorney's aid. There may also be other information that may help to support a car crash case.
Additionally, an attorney will be able to take whatever information you give them and present strong evidence to help you seek compensation for your medical bills and overall damages. The accident attorneys at Demesmin and Dover Law Firm understand how hard car accidents can be and want to provide their clients and individuals with all the help they need.
Whether it is us helping you to file an insurance claim, providing information through our car accident blog posts, or getting you the compensation you deserve, our accident attorneys are there. So call us today at 866-954-MORE (6673) for your free consultation because to us, it's personal.