Should I Call 911 After a Car Accident in Miami, FL?
January 13, 2022 | Sagi Shaked | Car Accidents
Unfortunately, car accidents can happen even when you are a responsible driver. You need to take certain steps after a crash. For example, you should call 911 after any car accident in Miami — even if the accident was fairly minor. The following overview will explain why this step is necessary.
The Importance of Calling the Police After a Car Accident in Miami
Under Florida law, drivers are typically required to report accidents to the police after they occur. You must report an accident if it involves injury, death, or serious vehicle damage. The law states that a driver must remain at the scene and cooperate with an officer investigating the accident. If an officer arrives shortly after the accident occurs, a driver does not need to call 911 to report it.
However, it’s unlikely that an officer will arrive without being dispatched. Thus, you should always prioritize calling 911 shortly after you’ve gotten to safety and checked on the condition of the other drivers. It does not matter whether it was a major or minor car accident.
Abiding by the law is the main reason to call the police after a collision. That said, it’s worth noting that calling 911 and reporting your accident might also help you recover compensation for your medical bills and other losses if you file a claim or lawsuit after your crash.
How Calling the Police After a Miami Car Accident Can Strengthen a Legal Case
Florida is a no-fault state in regard to car accident claims and lawsuits. In Florida, your own insurer is responsible for compensating you after an accident. This is true even if the accident was the result of another driver’s carelessness.
However, your insurer might not be inclined to immediately offer the full amount of compensation you are eligible for. Their goal might be to convince you to settle for less than your claim is worth.
To improve your chances of recovering the compensation, it’s necessary to provide as much relevant documentation as you can. An official police report can help you show that your account of the accident is accurate.
Additionally, you might be able to recover additional compensation by filing a claim or lawsuit to collect from the insurance of the negligent party who caused your accident. Although Florida is a no-fault state, you can file a separate claim against the negligent party’s insurance if you suffered “serious injuries.”
This is another reason to call the police after a car accident. True, a minor car accident may not be likely to cause serious injury. But in some cases, the injuries resulting from an accident are not immediately apparent. If you develop serious injuries after your accident that you didn’t notice right away, you might have justification to file an additional claim. Again, in these circumstances, your case will be much stronger if you can refer to an objective police report when presenting evidence to an insurance company.
Calling the police after a car accident is not the only step to take in the immediate aftermath, though. You should also:
- Calmly exchange contact and insurance information with the other drivers involved
- Document the scene by taking pictures
- Get the contact information of any witnesses at the scene
- See a doctor right away, even if you believe you have not been harmed
- Discuss your case with an attorney
A minor car accident may not seem like an accident that you must report to the police. However, it’s always best to err on the side of caution by calling 911 right away after a collision in Miami.