Most people who drive in the Tampa Bay area have been involved in a car accident at least once in their lives. While the charming city of St. Petersburg houses slightly more than a quarter of a million people, its world-class museums, parks, and beaches attract visitors from all across the Sunshine State. The high density of vehicles traveling through increases the potential for collisions.
There’s no “right time” to experience a car accident. When you’re commuting, you want to get where you’re going as efficiently as possible. Accidents thwart your plans and sour your mood. During a minor accident, you might be hesitant to spend any extra time reporting the collision to police; however, it’s crucial to call the police to complete a report no matter how severe the crash was. An accident report/police report can protect you in the days and weeks following an accident and, depending on the facts of your crash, you may be legally required to report it.
Police officers who investigate collisions can complete a number of tasks you won’t be able to on your own. They examine the accident scene, take photographs, talk to witnesses, and record important information from all parties involved. The procedures they follow to establish a record of the crash will help you considerably if you choose to file an accident claim or seek the help of an experienced car crash lawyer in St. Petersburg.
A Police Report Can Help Catch People Breaking the Law
It’s typical to exchange insurance information with the other driver immediately after a crash, and while determining if all parties are physically intact. Even if no one was hurt, though, you should still report the accident to the police. If the other driver asks you to avoid contacting the police, consider this to be a red flag. The driver might be trying to hide that they:
- Don’t have a driver’s license;
- Lack insurance;
- Have a warrant out for their arrest;
- Could be drunk or breaking the law in another way.
All of these are valid reasons to call the police. A person who poses a threat to others when behind the wheel should be kept off the road.
It Will Support Your Personal Injury Claim
The information police gather at the accident scene is crucial to the success of your case. Even if you don’t think you’ll file a claim right after the accident, you’ll want evidence that the accident occurred. The police report becomes that evidence. It could help prove the other driver was at fault and serves an important purpose if you were injured or sustained property damage. If you ever do decide to work with an accident attorney in St. Petersburg, your lawyer will rely on the police report heavily to successfully collect information for your case. If you decide to file an accident claim on your own, your insurance company will request you to provide the report.
Valuable Information Contained in an Accident Report/Police Report
An accident report is an unbiased record of the events that transpired during the crash. It contains useful information, such as:
- The accident location;
- The time and date the accident took place;
- Damage the vehicles sustained;
- Personal statements from accident victims and witnesses;
- Information from all parties involved.
Reporting a Car Accident to Police is the Law
There is a law in Florida that requires drivers to report car accidents when:
- There is a minimum of $500 worth of property damage;
- A person is injured;
- A person dies; and/or
- A vehicle is towed.
It can be difficult to estimate the value of your damaged car by eyeballing it. It can also be hard to tell whether anyone was hurt in the aftermath of a crash. It’s always better to be safe than sorry and report the accident to your local police.
After Calling the Police, Contact a St. Petersburg Car Accident Lawyer
It may not take long to realize that you need the help of an attorney to recover needed compensation for losses you sustained. If you suffer any type of loss after a vehicle accident — such as an injury, property damage, or lost wages at work — you may have a claim.
Attorney Frank P. Marsalisi of Marsalisi Law is an experienced accident lawyer who works on a contingency fee basis. Our firm expects no payment unless we win your case! Our top priority is protecting your rights and taking the burden of resolving your case off of your shoulders so you can focus on healing. Let go of any worries you may have about dealing with insurance adjusters and leave it in our hands.
Frank P. Marsalisi was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida and has aggressively fought for car accident victims in the area with many significant results. If you need help in Spanish, he is fluent and can help you through the motions of filing a claim and securing compensation. Don’t wait until your bills start piling up to seek legal counsel. Call (727) 800-5052 or complete our contact form for a free consultation. Marsalisi Law is Where Law Gets Personal.