After a minor Florida car accident, you may think calling the police is unnecessary. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
While it is not legally required to report accidents unless they result in death, personal injury, or property damage of over $500 according to state law, failing to report the accident may impact your ability to recover compensation.
If the accident was caused by another driver, having an official police report can strengthen your case. Your West Palm Beach auto accident attorney will request a copy of the report to help prove what compensation you are entitled to.
Why Is a Police Report so Important?
Besides providing impartial and accurate third-party documentation of your accident, the police report can also be used as evidence.
It provides an unbiased view of what happened, which is more reliable and effective (in most cases) than the at-fault party’s and victim’s account of the incident. Additionally, the police report is required by insurance companies if you file a personal injury claim.
What Information Is Included in the Police Report?
The police report is an unbiased account of what happened by an authority. It is what the law enforcement officer observes. The report includes the following observations from the reporting officer:
- Location of the accident
- Date and time of the accident
- All damage to property and vehicles
- Injuries of all parties involved
- Statements and contact information for witnesses
- Statements from involved drivers
- Environmental factors that impacted the accident
The report may include other facts if needed.
With the police report, you have an official document that can be used to help support your claim. It can have a huge impact on your ability to obtain the deserved compensation from the negligent party.
What Must You Do to File a Police Report?
Filing a police report is important. The process to ensure there is one for your accident includes the following:
- Call the police after an accident occurs.
- Discuss the details of the incident with the responding officer and answer their questions.
- Request a copy of the accident report.
Your attorney will require a copy of the report and use it to build a claim on your behalf.
What Else Should You Do After a West Palm Auto Accident?
After calling the police to the scene of an accident, be sure not to leave. While waiting for the police to arrive, there are a few other things you can (and should) do. These include the following:
Contact Emergency Services
Your injuries may not be evident right after an accident. Because of this, it is important to seek medical evaluation immediately after an accident. You can do this by having EMS evaluate you or by going to your doctor.
Seeking medical treatment also links your injuries to the accident, which is beneficial if you file a claim.
Document the Accident
While the police report is designed to document what happened, it is also smart to have your documentation.
Take several photos of the accident scene from various angles. If you have a dashboard camera, save the clip of the incident.
Write down everything you can remember about what happened immediately. As time passes, you are bound to forget details that may be helpful if you file an insurance claim.
Report the Incident to Your Insurance Company
Contact your insurance company immediately after an accident to report what happened. Never admit fault for the incident to your insurance provider or anyone else. Stick to the facts of what happened and never assume when talking about the accident.
Protecting Your Rights After a Car Accident
After a car accident, you may want to go home and recover. However, you must contact the police and get an official report created. As you can see from the information above, this offers several benefits that will help you if you file a claim for compensation against the at-fault driver.
Our West Palm Beach Auto Accident Attorneys Can Help with Your Claim
If you are involved in a Florida auto accident, you have rights. To help protect these rights, you must file an official police report. This is necessary for minor and more serious accidents.
Once you have your police report and have been evaluated by a medical professional, call our legal professionals at Fetterman & Associates, PA. We can help you with your accident claim and work to ensure you receive the maximum compensation possible for your injuries and losses.
Tips if You Have Been Hit by a Delivery Truck
Suffered a Herniated Disk During an Accident in West Palm Beach
The post Why You Should Always File a Police Report After a Car Accident appeared first on Fetterman & Associates PA.