Is It Possible to File a Tampa Car Accident Claim Without a Police Report?
March 13, 2023 | Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers | Car Accident
You might wonder if calling the police for a Tampa car accident is worth the trouble. If you did not report the crash, it might be unclear whether you can file an insurance claim without a police report.
The good news is that it is possible to file a car accident claim without a police report. However, the insurance company might fight the claim more aggressively without proof a car accident occurred.
When Do I Need a Police Report To File a Claim After a Tampa Car Accident?
It is always wise to have a police report when filing a car accident claim. A police report is an official record that the car crash occurred. The report has information that can help with a car accident claim, such as:
- The names and contact information of the drivers
- The owners of each vehicle
- The date, time, and location of the accident
- Road and weather conditions at the time of the crash
- Names of passengers
- Whether either driver contributed to the cause of the crash or received a traffic citation
The police report might also include eyewitness statements, a description of the property damage, and other information useful when filing a car accident insurance claim. For example, the officer might have included a statement by the other driver admitting fault. In addition, the officer could have included their observations about the location of the vehicles and other physical evidence.
What Are the Legal Requirements for Filing a Police Report After a Tampa Car Accident?
Thousands of car accidents occur each year in Florida. There were 28,322 traffic crashes reported in Hillsborough County in 2022. Many of those crashes took place in Tampa.
Florida traffic laws require that you report a car accident by the quickest means possible if:
- The accident resulted in a fatality
- The crash caused bodily injury
- The property damage is $500 or more
The quickest way to report a crash to the police is by calling 911. When you call 911 to report a car accident in Tampa, the operator dispatches the correct law enforcement agency based on your location. Therefore, the City of Tampa Police Department, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, or the Florida Highway Patrol might respond to the accident.
A police officer must complete a Florida Traffic Crash Report Long Form and file it with the appropriate agency if the traffic accident involves a:
- Fatality or bodily injury
- Complaints of pain or discomfort by someone after the accident
- Drunk driver
- Vehicle that must be towed from the accident scene because it is inoperable
- Commercial motor vehicle
- Hit-and-run driver
If a long-form crash report is not required, the officer completes a short-form crash report or provides a form for drivers to exchange information. All drivers and passengers must complete the driver exchange information form.
Drivers must submit a written crash report to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) if they report the car accident to the police and the police do not investigate the accident. Driver reports must be filed within 10 days of the car accident date.
When Do I Report a Tampa Car Crash to My Insurance Company?
Florida requires all drivers to have minimum amounts of no-fault car insurance or PIP coverage. After a car accident, report the crash to your insurance company. You must see a doctor within 14 days to receive PIP benefits.
No-fault insurance benefits include up to 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your lost wages. However, the benefits only pay up to $2,500 if you sustain a non-emergency medical condition.
Filing an Insurance Claim With the Other Driver’s Insurance Company
Florida does not require drivers to purchase liability insurance coverage. However, some drivers have liability coverage. If you sustained serious injuries in the car accident, you might have a claim against the other driver.
The company assigns an insurance adjuster to investigate your claim. The adjuster determines if the insured driver caused the accident. If so, the adjuster also determines how much your damages are worth.
Unlike a PIP claim, you can demand compensation for your economic damages and non-economic damages from the at-fault driver. However, insurance companies consistently undervalue claims to save money, especially if the accident victim is not represented by an attorney.
Therefore, before you talk with an insurance company or accept a settlement offer, you might want to discuss your case with a Tampa car accident lawyer. An attorney reviews your case during a free consultation and advises you on the best way to recover a fair settlement for your car accident claim.
Contact the Tampa Car Accident Law Firm of Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today
For more information, please contact Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation with a car accident lawyer in Tampa today. We have five convenient locations in Florida, including Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, New Port Richey, and Lakeland.
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Tampa Office
601 W Swann Ave, Tampa, FL 33606
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater Office
600 Bypass Dr Suite 224-D, Clearwater, FL 33764
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – St. Petersburg Office
111 2nd Ave NE Suite 350, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – New Port Richey Office
5006 Trouble Creek Rd Unit #200, Port Richey, FL 34652
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Lakeland Office
1543 Lakeland Hills Blvd Suite 18, Lakeland, FL 33805