How To Report A Car Accident To The Police

No matter if you had a fender bender or were involved in a multi-vehicle pileup accident, you always want to contact the police. In fact, in the state of Florida if an accident causes $500 or more dollars in damages, you are legally required to report the accident to the police within 5 days. It is always best to contact the police while you are still at the scene of the accident because the police will file an accident report with details about the accident that can later be used in the claims process or in court.

What The Police Will Put Into An Accident Report

When the police file an accident report they will do a brief investigation into what happened. Then they will put together a report that includes:

● The date and time of the accident
● The location of the accident with a description of the area
● The weather, road hazards, and other things that impact driving
● The names, contact information, and insurance details of the parties involved
● Statements from the drivers
● Statements from passengers and any eye witnesses and their contact details
● The vehicles’ makes, models, and years
● Notes on the vehicle damage
● Notes on any injuries
● A diagram of the accident scene

For the most part, the initial police report is objective unless there is an obvious party at fault. For example, if one of the drivers is drunk, they will probably be arrested and that will be noted on the police report.

Talking To The Police

You are under no legal obligation to speak to the police when they arrive at the accident. However, it can be beneficial to present your side at the scene of the accident. When speaking with the police just stick to the facts. Never admit to doing anything wrong and be careful not to accidentally admit fault. Stay calm and collected and just provide helpful details. Once you are finished, then take the police officers’ name and badge number. You may need these later when filing a claim.

Review The Accident Report

After the police have filed a report, you will receive a copy. Florida law mandates that police reports be available within 10 days of the initial accident. You will want to review this document and make sure there are no mistakes. If there are any, make sure to contact them to provide the correct details.

How A Police Report Helps Your Case

Police reports are valuable because they prove there was an accident and can also be used to determine both the extent of the damages like injuries and who was at fault for the accident. Insurance companies often review police reports during the settlement process to build their case. Since the police are considered an objective authority, these reports are treated very seriously and will often be used as evidence in a claim. You will want to make sure that the insurance companies and your attorney also have a copy of the police report.

Filing a police report is very important after an accident. It can even help you win your case. The St. Pete’s Lawyer Michael Babboni can help. He’ll review your police report and use it to help calculate the value of your claim. He will also use it in building a case to prove liability and to fight for your right to fair compensation from the insurance companies. To learn more about how Michael Babboni can help, call us at 1-727-381-9200. We’ll review your case for free and help you understand your options. We’re always here to help!