Unfortunately, car accidents can happen no matter how safe we try to be on the road. Accidents range from the very serious collisions that can claim lives to the fender-benders that cause minor damage to the vehicle and no injury. Minor car accidents are more common then we may think and they do follow special legal and insurance protocol. It is important to familiarize yourself with the vehicle laws of Florida to ensure that you follow the right procedure in any car accident.
Why a Car Accident Needs to Be Reported
It is in your best interest to report any kind of car accident, especially since you may be required to do so by law. Many issues may arise during a car accident. The other driver may have a suspended license, no license, or no insurance. Law enforcement needs to be aware of this so that they can take the proper measures. Your car may suffer damage and the insurance company needs to be aware of this so that they can cover repair costs.
You may even suffer a minor injury that needs to be documented so that the insurance company can compensate you for your medical costs. The three groups that need to be aware of the accident are the police, the insurance company, and a medical professional. All three of these groups may need to work together to get you the proper treatment, care, and justice you deserve.
Consequences of a Refusal to Report the Accident
In Florida, you must report a car accident if any drivers, passengers, or pedestrians suffer an injury or death. You must also report the accident if either vehicle has $500 worth of damage or more. The police should be contacted as soon as possible and you must give them an oral report which starts an investigation by the department.
You can also file a written report with the police. Failure to do either of these can result in a monetary fine by the department. Another problem that may arise is a personal injury. If you don’t report the accident soon after it occurs and you experience injury later on, the other driver can deny your claims. They can say an accident never happened and it will be up to you to provide the necessary proof.
Your insurance company reserves the right to deny coverage for an unreported accident and they may penalize you for not reporting the accident to them. This also applies to vehicular damage. You may not be able to properly assess the extent of the damage. Therefore, you will need a mechanic to inspect the vehicle and document any depreciation. Failure to do so, may result in the insurance company’s refusal to compensate you for any repairs and the vehicle can further deteriorate over time.
It is also important to get all of the contact information of the other driver or pedestrians involved in the accident. This includes their address, phone number, and place of employment. This information will be very helpful for law enforcement and insurance companies so that they can do a thorough investigation into the incident.
If you are ever involved in any type of car accident, always report it to the proper authorities immediately. To learn more about how to protect yourself in the event of an accident, contact your local attorneys at Disparti Law Group today.