Unfortunately, it happens to almost everyone. Whether it’s due to slick Ft. Myers roads, a distracted driver in Cape Coral, or just bad luck in Naples – car accidents happen. It’s important to plan ahead in case it happens to you. In the event of a car accident, there are some important steps you should follow:
- Make sure everyone is OK, and call the police – even if the damage is minimal and no one appears hurt.
- Exchange information with the other drivers involved
- Do not admit guilt
- Call or contact your insurance company via their claim app
Even if you or the other victims seem fine, it’s possible you could have internal injuries that may go undetected for days after the incident. This can be as simple as strained muscles to severe issues like traumatic brain injury, or spinal cord damage. If, days after your accident you find you need treatment, you’ll need a copy of the police report in order to be properly compensated by the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
What Can A Police Report Do To Help?
A police report will have detailed information about the incident, which can be useful to your attorney when trying to settle with the other driver’s insurance company. (Police reports are not generally admissible in court in the state of Florida.) Here’s some of what a police report will contain that can help you in your accident settlement:
- The date, time, and location of the accident
- Weather and road conditions at the time of the accident
- Diagram of the crash scene with indications of points of impact
- Description of injuries to anyone involved noted at the scene of the accident
- List of damages to vehicles and any other property
- Photos documenting the accident scene
- The officers’ account of the accident and its cause
- Contact information for all parties involved as well as any witnesses
- Any citations issued to drivers involved
How Can The Police Report Be Helpful?
As we said earlier, a police report isn’t generally admissible in Florida courts. However, the information gathered can help your attorney get the most for your insurance settlement. The police report is one of the first things an insurance adjuster will ask for.
One of the most important parts of the police report when it comes to working with an insurance adjuster is the officer’s statement. The police officer’s statement is an unbiased account of the incident. They will provide a matter of fact statement of what happened and what they feel was the cause of the accident, and insurance adjusters know that the officer’s word will hold up in court as believable. They will more readily accept their driver as liable with a police officers statement.
With a police statement, the adjusters tend to work more quickly towards settlement and may be more likely to settle for a higher dollar amount. In more complicated cases, a police statement can also give your attorney information to connect with witnesses that may help in negotiations with the insurance company.
The bottom line is this: Always, even in a seemingly minor fender bender, get a police statement. If you’ve been involved in an auto accident, be sure you receive the compensation you re entitled to. Contact us for your free consultation.