Is it Possible To File a Claim in Florida Without a Police Report?
Bill Allen | August 22, 2022 | Car Accidents
Most people call 911 immediately after a car accident. It is the quickest and easiest way to report the accident to the police and request emergency medical services.
However, what happens if you fail to report a car accident? Can you file an accident claim in Florida if you did not file a police report?
Can I File a Car Accident Claim if I Did Not Report the Crash to the Police?
Yes, you can file a personal injury claim even though you did not report the car accident to the police. However, it might be more challenging for you to prove your case.
The other driver might deny knowing anything about the crash. The driver could lie and say they were not involved in a car crash with you. Likewise, the driver could try to blame the collision on you.
You would need to gather significant evidence proving that a collision occurred and that the other driver caused the crash. In addition, because of Florida’s no-fault insurance laws, you must prove that you sustained serious injuries to file a claim against the other driver.
Therefore, it is always best to report car accidents to the police immediately. The first step is to understand your responsibilities after a car accident.
Requirements for Reporting Car Accidents in Florida
Florida Statute §316.065 requires that you report a car crash to law enforcement authorities by the quickest means possible if:
- The crash resulted in bodily injury
- The crash caused a person’s death
- The collision caused $500 or more in property damage
The officers responding to the accident must file a Florida Traffic Crash Report Long Form within ten days after completing the accident investigation in situations involving:
- Hit-and-run accidents
- Drunk driving accidents
- Injury or death
- Commercial motor vehicle accidents
- Someone complains of pain or discomfort after the crash
- A vehicle had to be towed from the scene because it was inoperable
Having an official police report can make it easier to file an insurance claim. The insurance company can use the police report as documentation that the collision occurred, even though a police report is not conclusive proof that either party was at-fault for the cause of the accident.
Tips for Filing Car Accident Claims in Gainesville, Florida
Always report the car accident to the police immediately and remain at the scene until help arrives. If possible, take photographs and make a video of the accident scene as evidence. Also, get the names of the people who witnessed the crash and their contact information.
Make sure you do not admit fault for the cause of the crash. Saying you are sorry could be misunderstood to mean that you are sorry that you caused the crash.
Tell the police officer what happened so that your version of events is in the police report, if possible. Because it is an official document that could help or hurt your insurance claim, do not embellish the facts or try to slant the facts in your favor with little “white lies.” Only provide the facts of what happened.
Seek immediate medical treatment for your injuries. It is not wise to say you were not injured or think you are okay.
Instead, it is better to say you are unsure and will see your doctor if you do not believe you need to go to the emergency room. Until your doctor examines you, it can be difficult to know whether you sustained injuries that are masked by your emotional state or the injuries might have delayed symptoms.
Do You Need to Call a Car Accident Attorney for Help?
You might have a claim against the other driver if you sustained serious injuries. The insurance company may argue with you that your injuries do not meet the serious injury threshold. A car accident lawyer understands the law and can advise you of your rights.
If you file a claim, the insurance adjuster will try to undervalue the claim. They might use several tactics that are unfamiliar to you, including allegations of contributory fault and failure to mitigate damages.
The benefit of hiring a lawyer to handle your car accident claim is that you have someone who deals with the insurance company for you. An attorney understands these tactics and how to fight back against them to get you the money you deserve.
Contact Our Gainesville Car Accident Law Firm in North Central Florida
We have three convenient locations in North Central Florida: