A police report is not always required in Florida, which means you can usually file a claim for financial recovery from the at-fault driver without one. As an attorney will tell you, though, filing a police report may support your claim by serving as evidence.
Were you involved in a car accident but did not file a police report? If you want to know if you can still file a car accident claim, then you may benefit from speaking to an attorney in your area.
Florida Law May Require a Police Report in Your Circumstances
While you may be able to file a car accident claim without a police report, and a minor car accident does not legally require one, some situations make written reports of crashes mandatory. If a car involved in the accident was so damaged that it had to be towed from the scene, a police report is mandatory. The law also requires the filing of a police report in ten days or sooner if the accident:
- Resulted in injuries or death
- Caused more than $500 in damages
- Blocked traffic
- Was due to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Your attorney can explain any additional circumstances that may also require you to file a police report, as well as the importance of documenting your accident even if the law does not require you to do so.
Filing a Complete Police Report May Support Your Case
You can file a car accident claim without a police report, but one might be required under certain circumstances. When a police report is required, it must contain specific information, which includes:
- The date and time the accident occurred
- Details of all involved vehicles
- Name and contact info of all involved drivers, passengers, and any witnesses
- Name and badge number of police at the scene
- Insurance information for both drivers
When you are the victim of a car accident, you should consider completing a police report even if the accident does not legally require one. Your attorney can use the report to:
- Establish the liable party’s presence and legal responsibility for your crash
- Prove that your injuries are connected with the accident
- Locate witnesses who may be willing to provide statements or other materials to support your case
For a free legal consultation 800-747-3733
How to File a Hit and Run Police Report
Filing a police report for a hit-and-run accident is your responsibility, as you obviously cannot rely on the hit and run driver to file their own report. It is especially important to file a report under such circumstances because:
- It provides definitive proof that someone else caused your injuries and the damage to your car.
- It strengthens your case for damages.
- It can help the police or your attorney to locate the driver so you can take legal action against them.
To file a hit and run report, you can call 911 from the accident scene and wait until the police arrive, just as you would any other type of accident. If you are too severely injured to stay at the scene, you can contact the police at a later date.
This also applies to parked car hit and run cases. For example, if someone hit your parked car and you didn’t call the police, you could have a more difficult time proving that you did not cause the damage yourself. This could complicate your attempts to recover compensation.
How to File a Claim for a Car Accident
The first claim you file should be with your own insurance company. According to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), you are legally required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, which will cover up to 80 percent of your medical bills.
To file a claim, take the following steps:
- Make sure your damages are covered under your policy—if you are unsure, ask your insurance agent or attorney to review the policy with you
- Visit your insurance provider’s website or call your insurance agent to begin your claim
- Keep any relevant documentation, such as medical bills, handy when you contact your insurer—they will want this information
- Schedule a time for an insurance adjuster to see you and assess your case, and give them the answers or documentary information they ask for
- Wait for the adjuster to complete their investigation
An attorney can help you secure compensation from your insurer, especially if they are reluctant to offer you just compensation.
Filing a Claim with the Other Driver’s Insurer
Your lawyer can also help you file a claim with the liable party’s insurance company for whatever damages your own policy does not cover. They may do this by:
- Using the police report and other evidence to definitively identify the liable party
- Contacting the liable party’s insurance company and telling them how much money you need to settle your claim
- Negotiating with the liable party’s insurer for the amount you are seeking
If for any reason your claim cannot be settled, your attorney may be able to take the liable party to court and fight for a jury award. Here, again, a police report may serve as invaluable evidence: your lawyer can submit it to the court so a judge can review it as they consider your case.
Get Answers From An Experienced Attorney.SPEAK TO AN ATTORNEY NOW
Reach Out to a Hit and Run Lawyer Today
In Florida, you are legally required to file a police report only under specific circumstances. If a car accident appeared to be minor, or if you were removed by medical personnel before you could complete a police report, an attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options.
If you or a family member was involved in a car accident but failed to file a police report, contact a lawyer today. When you are ready to hold the liable party or parties responsible and file a car accident claim, with or without a police report, contact an Orlando car accident lawyer from the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine. You may have a limited time to act under the statute of limitations imposed by Florida law.
We want to put our knowledge, experience, and resources to work for you.SPEAK TO AN ATTORNEY NOW