Should I Call 911 After a Car Accident in Ocala, FL?
Bill Allen | October 27, 2021 | Car Accidents
You’re out and about, running errands, and trying to stick to a tight schedule. Suddenly, bam! The tailgater behind you taps your bumper. Your to-do list is already a page long. Now, you can add taking down information, calling insurance, and getting your car fixed to the list. Do you really need to complicate things with a phone call to 911?
The answer to this question depends on several factors. And while it may seem easier in the moment to avoid police involvement, calling 911 could spare you headaches down the line. Keep reading to learn more about when to call 911 after a car accident.
What Does the Law Say?
In Florida, you must report an accident to the police when it involves:
- Property damages in excess of $500
If you would rather submit a report electronically, visit the website for the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
Keep in mind that even minor damages add up fast. If your vehicle is a newer model, something as simple as a dented bumper could cost $500 or more.
With this in mind, ask the following question to determine whether you should call 911 after your accident.
Was Anyone Injured?
The crash may have seemed minor, but people could still be injured. Before you avoid a 911 call, make sure that all passengers in each of the cars are in good health. Ask about headaches, sprains, bruising, and whiplash.
Injuries are not uncommon after a car crash. You or the other driver could experience symptoms like:
- Spinal injuries
- Head injuries
- Broken bones
- Chronic pain
- Internal bleeding
If someone is injured, immediately call the police—even if you believe the injury to be minor.
Also, it’s important that you avoid moving the injured person if at all possible to avoid further damages. Of course, if someone is in danger from fire or oncoming traffic, you may carefully move them to a safe place.
How Extensive Are the Damages?
If you think the damages add up to more than a few hundred dollars, call 911. The police will make a record of the accident and collect witness statements. If needed, the insurance company can use this information to evaluate your claim. If you need to make a personal injury claim, this evidence will be vital.
On average, a car crash in Florida costs around $7,500 for property damages alone. Add any injuries to the situation and the price rises steadily. If you were not at fault for the accident, you want to make sure those costs are covered by the other driver or their insurance.
Is the Other Driver Willing to Provide Their Information?
Drivers in Florida are legally obligated to exchange information after a car accident. If you get a sense that the driver may not cooperate, give the police a call.
While you wait, make sure that you avoid making any statements about fault, as they can be used against you later. Stay civil and respectful, keeping to the topic at hand.
Should You Call an Attorney, Too?
Just as it never hurts to call the police, it’s never a bad idea to call an attorney. A knowledgeable professional can help you navigate these potential problems:
- The other driver or insurance company will not cooperate
- It is not clear which driver is at fault
- You or the other driver are uninsured
- The accident resulted in a fatality
- The accident occurred in a construction, work, or school zone
- You do not agree with the police report
A little bit of support goes a long way when it comes to the aftermath of a car accident.