Statistically, car accidents are more prone to happen during the holiday season. With Thanksgiving and December holidays around the corner, our expert Miami personal injury attorneys are here to provide you with steps to legally protect yourself when it comes to reporting minor car accidents.
When a minor “fender-bender” results in a slight scratch or dent, you may be inclined to ask yourself, “Do I really need to report this accident if there have been no injuries?” While it varies state to state, Florida Statute 316.065 requires car accidents be reported to the Highway Patrol or Police if any of the following apply: whether death or injury occurred; a hit and run accident; an accident caused by an intoxicated driver, or property damage of $500 or more.
As previously stated, it does not matter if there wasn’t an injury—if vehicle damage totals $500 or more, the accident must be reported. Considering the cost of car repairs, our personal injury attorneys would highly suggest reporting the accident no matter what. We have outlined a few reasons why involving the police protects you in the long run.
Exchanging Information After A Minor Accident
Immediately after the accident, both parties should exchange contact and insurance information. If the other driver refuses to provide his information, or there is reason to believe they do not have insurance, requiring assistance from law enforcement at the scene can help you acquire such information.
Avoiding A Good Faith Dispute After A Minor Accident
Even if the other driver does provide you with their contact information, there is the possibility of a good faith dispute regarding the at-fault party later down the line. If the police are involved at the scene, their accident investigator will record interviews from both parties, note any physical vehicle damages, and speak with any witnesses. If the other driver decides to take legal action against you later down the line, there will be an indisputable police record with the circumstances of the accident.
Delayed Injuries After A Minor Accident
Even if the accident was minor, there is the possibilities of a delayed injury. At the scene of the accident, you may not notice any injuries sustained from the crash, however, it is not uncommon to see signs days—or even weeks later. If no law enforcement was present at the scene, the other driver can claim that the accident never occurred and they are not liable for any personal injury settlements. When the police are involved, it is no longer your word against theirs, which removes the possibility of a non-involvement argument.
Our experienced Miami personal injury attorneys are here to provide you with the information necessary to protect you during car accidents. As such, it is crucial to call law enforcement to the scene in order to protect yourself from possible lawsuits against you, or even to obtain a record of events if you are interested in pursuing a personal injury suit. To learn more, please schedule a free consultation with Graham Legal, P.A. today.