Should You Call the Cops for a Fender Bender in Tampa, FL?
January 7, 2023 | Winters & Yonker, P.A. | Car Accident
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were over 5.2 million auto crashes nationwide in 2020. These accidents resulted in the death of 38,824 people and injuries to over 2.2 million people.
If you ever find yourself in the unfortunate position of being involved in a car accident, you might wonder whether you should call the cops. Below, we discuss some of the key reasons why you should call 911 after a Tampa fender bender.
Are Florida Drivers Required To Call 911 After a Collision?
Florida law requires anyone involved in an auto accident that results in any of the following to immediately report the accident to the police:
- Property damage of at least $500
Since the cost to replace a fender bender can easily equal thousands of dollars, even seemingly minor collisions will probably result in damage that exceeds the threshold to make the call.a
You Can Get an Objective Car Accident Report
One of the most important reasons to contact the police after a car accident is so that you can get them to respond to the scene to prepare an accident report.
This police report will contain important information, such as:
- Information that identifies the other driver
- The other driver’s insurance information
- A description of the location of the accident
- Initial opinions regarding fault
- Weather and road conditions
- Witness information
- A record of visible damage
This report can be essential if you want to file an insurance claim.
Your Auto Insurance Company Will Ask
Florida is a no-fault insurance state. In the event of an accident, you first turn to your own Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance for coverage. Your insurance company will likely ask you if you contacted the police and if you have a report.
Having an objective police report can help establish:
- An accident occurred
- You were involved in the accident
- Your injuries were caused by the accident
Having a police report can also be helpful in preserving your memory of the accident while your memory is fresh.
You Can Get Prompt Medical Treatment
If you suspect you or someone else was injured in the accident, the best thing to do is call 911. In addition to having police respond to the scene, calling 911 will give you the opportunity to request an ambulance. You can be transported to the local hospital, where your injuries will promptly be identified and treated.
Accident victims may suffer serious injuries, even in low-speed accidents. These injuries may include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Strains or sprains
These injuries are not always immediately noticeable, so getting a prompt check-up may help you learn about these injuries so you can begin taking the necessary steps to heal.
You May Need Evidence Against the Other Driver
If you suffered serious injuries, you can step outside of the no-fault system.
You may need cops to respond to the scene of the accident if you believe the other driver was at fault, especially if they may have broken the law by:
- Drinking and driving
- Driving while impaired by illicit drugs, prescription medication, or over-the-counter medicine
- Driving recklessly
- Using a cell phone while driving
- Committing a hit and run
- Driving without a valid license
- Driving without insurance
Police can conduct an investigation. Their findings may assist you in recovering compensation for any future civil claim you make.
If you were hurt in an accident, your first call should be to call 911. Your second should be to a qualified Tampa car accident lawyer.
Contact the Tampa Car Accident Law Firm of Winters & Yonker, P.A. for Help Today
For more information, please contact Winters & Yonker, P.A. 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.