Why Is a Police Report So Important if You Get into a Car Accident in Tampa, Florida?
People get into fender benders all the time. There may be little property damage. Nobody got hurt. However, even in cases like this, it’s important that you call the police because police report is important. The police can do things that you just can’t do when it comes to a car accident.
No matter how bad your accident is, you need to call the police. They’ll come out to the accident scene and investigate, take pictures, and talk to witnesses. They’ll get all the information your Tampa car accident attorney is going to need down the road.
The other driver may ask you not to call the police. They figure you can just exchange insurance information and be on your way. You can’t agree to this. There are many reasons why the driver may ask you not to call the police:
- He could be drunk or under the influence of drugs
- Doesn’t have a valid driver’s license
- Has no insurance
- Has active warrants
- He was breaking the law at the time of the accident
It’s even more important that you have the police there to document these things. Your Tampa car accident attorney can use this information later on to prove the other driver was at fault.
Your Tampa Car Accident Attorney Will Need the Police Report Later On
When the police come to the accident scene, they’ll create an accident report. This report will contain information that your Tampa car accident attorney will need later on. There are some things that won’t be available if you wait to get it later on.
The police report will contain important information such as:
- Name, license and insurance information for both drivers
- Name and contact information for witnesses
- Statements made by both drivers
- Witness statements
- Pictures of the scene, road conditions and the vehicles
- Whether either driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident
- Information regarding any citations issued as a result of the accident
Yes, your Tampa car accident attorney can get some of this information. However, he won’t be able to locate witnesses after the fact. Nor can he take pictures of the accident scene once it’s clear.
You don’t want to make your lawyer’s job any harder than it already is. Make sure you call the police so you have a report for him to reference.
Your Tampa Car Accident Attorney Knows You’ll Be Tempted to Leave
It’s only natural that you may want to leave the accident scene without calling the police. Standing on the side of the road while other cars gawk at you isn’t anyone’s idea of a fun morning. However, it’s crucial that you wait for the cops.
Some of the reasons clients claim they left the scene without calling the police include:
- The damage to your car is minor
- You and the other driver agree to just handle it through your insurance companies
- The weather is terrible and you just don’t want to stand outside waiting
- You’re in a rush or late for an appointment
- You don’t think you’re hurt
- The other driver begs you not to call the police and you feel bad
While all of these may seem reasonable, they don’t justify your not getting a police report.
You’re Required to Report the Car Accident in Florida Anyway
If the practical reasons aren’t enough to make you call the police, a legal one may do the trick. In Florida, you’re legally required to report a car accident in the following situations:
- There’s more than $500 in property damage
- There are any complaints of injuries
- Someone died in the accident
- Any car was towed from the scene
Sometimes, it’s obvious as to whether or not you need to call the police after an accident. If someone died in the accident or a car was towed, you’ll know it. However, it’s hard to know exactly how much the property damage is. Also, you may not be sure if anyone’s been injured.
Call and Talk to a Tampa Car Accident Attorney Right Away
If you’re in a car accident in Tampa, Florida, you need to call a Tampa car accident attorney. He can review your file and see if you have a valid claim. He can also answer any questions you may have.
The other driver is going to have a lawyer working for him. You need to have one on your side as well. Call and schedule your free initial consultation today.