How to File a Police Report After a Car Accident
Road accidents are inevitable. This is primarily the reason why most of us (if not all) have insurance policies for our cars and ourselves as well in an event of serious injuries brought by motor vehicular accidents. First and foremost, it is very important for us to learn about auto accident laws in Florida that is followed by the citizens, as well as the car accident lawyers Tampa Florida.
Auto Accident Laws in Florida
- Requirements for Reporting: It is important to note that the requirement in the State of Florida is for the police to be called for any accident in which transactions with insurance companies are expected. Note that some states, on the other hand, do not require this unless there are injuries or traffic interruptions. The Florida Police would issue a report that will indicate the time, location, and the circumstances of the accident. Aside from that, they will also interview witnesses (if there are any) if the car owners involved in the accident do not give the same details.
- Assessment of the Blame: Note that Florida is one of those states that practice “no-fault” policies. This means that each insured driver is paid for the expenses on personal injury by his/her own insurance company. Insurance policymakers enacted this policy to avoid drawn-out court proceedings. As to property damages, fault determination are done by the investigating police officer so that the insurance company of the offending driver will be the one to pay the claim for the innocent party.
- Requirements in Insurance Policies: Since Florida employs the no-fault policy; every driver of the state is required to have a personal injury protection insurance policy. Thus, this would make sure that injured drivers will have financial coverage as to medical treatment. Property damage liability is required as well.
Steps and Guidelines for Filing a Police Report
- Report the car accident by calling 911 or by contacting the local police department in Florida. When calling, make sure to provide the exact details as to your location and whether or not medical intervention is necessary.
- Gather as many information and details of the accident as much as possible before the police arrive. Note any conversation that were exchanged between you and the other party, details about the individual and the property, their contact information, their insurance information, and other pertinent details that could help in the police report. If you have a sheet of paper or pen with you, write the details on it and you may refer to the document as you speak to the officer.
- As soon as the police arrive, recount the details of the accident to the investigating officer and answer his/her queries about the accident. You should disclose complete and honest details of the accident as much as possible and make sure that the information you give matches to what the other parties involved is giving to the officer; if not, then you might need a South Florida car accident lawyer for settlement.
- As soon as the investigating officer completes the police report, he/she will give you a police report number that will serve as your reference when you want to acquire a copy of the report at a later date or as deemed necessary.
- Note that you may also file a police report online. Some precincts, like the Police Department in Orlando, Florida, allow individuals to file police reports on the web. You just need to log on to the website, download and print the document. Complete and fill out the information on the document; make sure to have a copy for your own personal record. After using this system, you will then be provided with a temporary case number as reference. After your case is reviewed by the appropriate authority, you will be given a permanent case number where you will be able to obtain the official copy of the report. Another option would be to visit the law enforcement agency in your area and file a police report. Note that, this is only applicable when the investigating officer hasn’t responded to your call.
If you have a car insurance, note that in any accident (even a minor one), you will be asked to provide a police report in order for you to be eligible in filing Florida personal injury claims.