Mark Roman | May 9, 2023 | Car Accidents
Car accidents are frequent in New Port Richey, Florida, and the surrounding areas. In Pasco County, there were 7,726 crashes reported in 2022.
Suppose you are involved in a New Port Richey car accident. In that case, it is essential to understand your responsibilities for filing a police report and how doing so impacts a New Port Richey injury claim.
When Do You Have To File a Police Report in Florida?
Most car accidents require a police report. Florida Statute §316.066 requires a police officer to complete and file a Long Form Florida Traffic Crash Report within 10 days of completing the accident investigation when:
- Involves a commercial motor vehicle
- Caused the death or personal injury of someone involved in the crash
- Involves a hit-and-run driver
- Caused a vehicle to be towed because it was inoperable due to property damage from the crash
- Involves a drunk driver
Even though a car accident does not meet the criteria for a police report, it is always best to call the police after an accident. Knowing the extent of property damage or personal injury immediately after a collision is difficult until you receive medical care and have your car inspected by a mechanic. Therefore, call 911 to report the crash and wait for officers to arrive.
Can You File an Insurance Claim Without a Police Report?
Do I need a police report to file a claim with my insurance company? This is a common question people ask about car accident claims in New Port Richey.
You can file a claim with an insurance company if you do not report the crash to the police. However, recovering compensation for damages could be much more challenging without an official accident report.
The other driver might claim they were never involved in an accident with you. And even if the other driver admits to being involved in the crash, the insurance company might review the accident claim more closely. Without a police report, you might not have as much concrete documentation to back up your claim.
What Is Included in a Police Report for a Car Accident in New Port Richey?
The police report contains information about the accident gathered by the police officer during the investigation. The accident report includes information such as:
- The date, time, and location of the crash
- The names and addresses of the drivers involved in the crash
- The vehicle owners, if different from the drivers
- The weather and road conditions
- Names of eyewitnesses and statements made by witnesses
- Whether a driver was cited for a traffic violation
- The police officer’s determination of whether a driver contributed to the cause of the accident
- A diagram of the accident scene (Sometimes, but not always)
- Other information the police officer deemed relevant to the crash investigation
When you talk to the police officer, provide the details of the accident. You want your version of the events leading up to the crash included in the accident report. However, do not accept fault for causing the crash.
Do I Need a Car Accident Lawyer if I Did Not Report a Crash to the Police?
Regardless of whether you filed a police report, it is always wise to have legal advice when filing an insurance claim. Even though Florida is a no-fault car insurance state, you might have a claim against the other driver if you sustained serious injuries in the car crash.
However, you have the burden of proving the other driver caused the car accident before you can recover compensation for a New Port Richey injury claim.
The liability insurance company will not make it easy for you to win your case. Instead, it will use all its resources to fight your claim. Therefore, you need an experienced car accident attorney to build a case for liability.
- Statements made by the drivers and eyewitnesses
- Videos of the collision captured by traffic cameras and nearby surveillance cameras
- Medical records
- Photographs taken at the accident scene
- Physical evidence from the accident scene and the vehicles
- Opinions and reports from accident reconstructionists and other expert witnesses
The police report is not considered admissible evidence in court because the officer did not see the crash. However, it might contain information your lawyer can use to obtain evidence of fault. Furthermore, the police officer might have included statements made by the at-fault driver that indicate the driver admitted fault.
What Should I Do After a Car Crash in New Port Richey, FL?
Call 911 to report the crash and wait for police officers and emergency responders to arrive. If you can, take photographs and make a video of the accident scene. Do not refuse medical treatment or say you are not injured at the accident scene.
Seek immediate medical treatment for your injuries. Medical records help create a link proving the car accident caused your injuries. Delays in seeking medical care could hurt your case.
Avoid talking with the insurance company without legal advice. As soon as possible, contact a New Port Richey car accident lawyer for help. An attorney helps you hold the person responsible for causing the crash liable for your economic and non-economic damages.
Contact the New Port Richey Car Accident Law Firm of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today
For more information, please contact the legal team of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for a free initial consultation with a car accident lawyer in New Port Richey. We have four convenient locations in Florida: Clearwater, New Port Richey, and Tampa.
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater Office
1811 N. Belcher Road, Suite I-1
Clearwater, FL 33765
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Congress Ave Office
2360 Congress Avenue
Clearwater, FL 33763
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Tampa Office
6601 Memorial Hwy Suite 202
Tampa, FL 33615
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – New Port Richey Office
2515 Seven Springs Blvd.
New Port Richey, FL, 34655