It is not obligatory to report all minor vehicle collisions to the police. However, failing to do so can result in legal issues arising in the future.
It is important to note that the law in Florida does require you to report collisions involving injury, death, intoxication, hit-and-run as well as property damage that exceeds $500.
Although you may be apprehensive about contacting the police to report your accident, it is advisable to do so for the following reasons.
Prevention of injury
If someone has been injured in the collision, then you are obliged to contact the authorities. You should get yourself to a safe location and call 9-1-1 immediately. The police and emergency services will be well trained in how best to deal with the scenario. Furthermore, police services can quickly clear traffic and provide other forms of support that will reduce the risk of further injury.
Adding credibility to your claim
Having documented evidence of your accident through a police report lends credibility to any future insurance or legal claims. By not having a police report, you may run the risk of jeopardizing your insurance claim. The insurance company could argue that your injuries may have been caused by something other than the collision.
A police report may not necessarily be submitted as evidence in a court of law, but it can still help in your insurance claim. Having an official report prevents you from getting into a situation where it is your word against the other driver(s).
What if I don’t call the police?
If you fail to report an accident as required by the law in Florida, you could face criminal charges. These charges vary in seriousness depending on whether someone was hurt or killed.
Familiarizing yourself with your rights and duties regarding car accidents is in your best interests. Knowing what to do after a vehicle collision could save lives as well as protect your legal rights.