What Happens if I Do Not Report a Car Accident in FL?
Maybe someone backed into your vehicle in a parking lot, or you had what you thought was a simple fender bender at a stoplight. For whatever reason, you believe your accident is relatively minor. Your vehicle has minimal damage, if any, and you feel fine. You exchange insurance information with the other driver, or maybe you don’t, but you don’t call the police to report the accident.
A couple of days later, you start to notice neck and back pain. You see the damage to your car in better lighting and realize it was more serious than you initially thought. Now what? At this point, it’s best to contact a skilled Tampa car accident attorney for help.
Why Reporting a Car Crash is Essential in Florida
Not reporting a car accident, even a minor one, in Florida is extremely risky in many ways. Reporting a motor vehicle crash to the authorities and having them file an official report helps preserve and support any claims you need to make and protects you from any false claims that someone could make about you. Without a valid police report:
- You have no official record of the crash.
- You could file a claim with the other party’s insurance company, but it’s their word against yours.
- The insurance company could say you sustained your injuries from something else after the accident.
- The other party could file a claim under your insurance policy, and your insurance company would have a hard time standing up for you without an official record of what happened.
- The other party could report it and then accuse you of committing a hit and run.
- You may not be able to receive compensation for your damages.
- You may be legally required to pay the other party’s damages.
Every situation is unique. However, if you don’t report your car accident to the authorities, any of these things could happen. Your Tampa car accident lawyer can use the police report to help build a strong claim on your behalf and hold the correct parties responsible for their actions.
How to Report Your Car Accident
As soon as possible after the accident occurs, contact the local authorities. If the accident results in an injury, death, or severe property damage, local law enforcement officers should come to the accident scene to investigate and begin their report. However, suppose the accident is relatively minor with no known injuries or significant property damage. In that case, you and the other involved parties can usually go down to the station to make a report yourself or online. Whatever you do, be sure to report the accident to the proper jurisdiction.
Injured in an Accident? Meet with a Skilled Tampa Car Accident Attorney Today
If you were recently injured in a car accident, now is the time to get in touch with a skilled Tampa car accident lawyer. Contact Matthews Personal Injury Law Today by phone at 813-530-1000 or online. We offer complimentary case consultations to help you get your claim started today.