Any time you get into a car accident, there are several entities to which you may need to report the crash, depending on how serious it was. This includes your local police department, your insurance provider and the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles. However, not all accidents need to be reported, and not all reported accidents need to be reported to each one of these entities.
Calling the police
No matter how serious you think it is, you should always call the police after a car accident. This is especially true if you believe there is property damage or bodily injury worth upward of $500. In general, it’s better to err on the side of caution and call police.
When officers arrive, you should answer all questions as honestly and accurately as you can, without trying to spin events in your favor. If, for some reason, you are unable to call the police, you should exchange contact information, driver’s license numbers and insurance information with the other driver, then get to the nearest police station as soon as you can.
Never admit any degree of fault to police officers or anyone else.
Contacting insurance providers
Insurance policies typically require you to cooperate with claims adjusters and report accidents as soon as possible. Not reporting your accident could be considered a failure to cooperate. Always be completely honest with your insurance company. If the provider finds out you lied about any aspect of the crash, it could deny you coverage going forward.
Keep cooperating with your provider moving forward, as well. Comply with any requests and remain in close communication.
Notifying state agencies
If you are involved in a serious accident with significant damage or bodily injuries, you should also report the accident to the Department of Motor Vehicles or certain departments within the DMV. This report must be filed within a relatively short amount of time. You may either find copies of the report online or at your local police station.
For further tips and guidance in the aftermath of a Florida car accident, consult a knowledgeable Bradenton personal injury lawyer with Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni & Walsh.