When a car accident occurs, even if there are no serious injuries, it is typical for the parties involved to call the police immediately to document the incident for themselves and their insurance companies. When the police arrive at the scene, they will often interview the parties involved in the accident and any witnesses, they will take down the car insurance information from the parties, and they may even take pictures of the scene where the accident occurred and any damage to vehicles.
The police officer will then write down the information collected, including his or her opinion regarding the cause of the accident if he or she has one, in a police report. In Florida, you have the right to obtain a copy of that report in person or by mail. Insurance companies place heavy weight on the contents of the police report when assessing liability and coverage. If you have ever been in a car accident, you know that there is not always a clear cut answer to the question of who was at fault. What happens if the police report does not identify which party is at fault?
Sometimes, the police do not even make a determination regarding who is to blame for the car accident and simply document the facts and circumstances based upon their review of the scene and discussion with witnesses. While it is usually good practice to consult an attorney who specializes in car accident cases following an accident, it can be imperative that you do so if the police report does not identify who is at fault and you are having trouble getting coverage from your insurance company or are worried about a lawsuit.
Police reports are not the final answer on who is at fault in a car accident. Your attorney can protect your interests by investigating the accident, interviewing witnesses, and hiring experts if needed. In addition, your attorney should be doing his or her best to advocate on your behalf with your insurance company or with the other parties involved in the accident.
Our experienced team of local attorneys is here to answer your questions. We know local experience matters! For more answers about what you should do following a car accident, please reach out to our office. You may call, chat, or contact us at any time. Put our team to work for you!