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Do You Have To Report A Minor Car Accident in Miami?
In most cases the majority of the car accidents are classified as “fender benders” which are minor in nature and don’t involve any injuries. This accident type usually occurs in a parking lot when a car backs out of a parking space or driving through an intersection, when you have tried to stop for the red light. This accident also occurs when you might have misjudged the stopping distance which results in your car bumping into the rear end of another vehicle in front of you.
In most cases, these accident types do not result in bodily injuries to passengers or drivers. However, the collision typically results in a minor property damage to one or both cars, whether it is scratches to the paint work or a dent in a fender or a bumper.
In these situation types, the question of “Should I be reporting the accident?” arises. There are usually 2 entities that you may want to report this accident to, and there is various consideration that will apply for each of them.
Here is more information to assist you.
Do You Have To Report Your Accident to Miami Law Enforcement?
To answer this question, will be dependent on the circumstances and facts surrounding the car accident as well as the state that you reside in.
If you are not sure, then you should consult with a car accident attorney in Miami to discuss your particular circumstance.
There are various states that require that you have to report an accident when it has resulted in an injury. Even the accidents that only involve car damages, certain states, like Florida, require that the drivers must report an accident when the damages exceed a specified amount which usually ranges from $500 to $2,500.
Directly after an accident on the scene, the most essential thing that you need to do will be to exchange your contact information with the driver of the other car and also ask for their driver insurance information. Each state has a requirement that drivers must exchange this information after a car accident.
If the driver of the other car does not have their own insurance or becomes uncooperative, you should contact the Miami Dade law enforcement to the scene of the accident to assist you in obtaining this information. Dependent on where the accident occurred, law enforcement agencies may be highway patrol, county sheriff or municipal police.
Even when the other driver happens to be cooperative, you may find that a dispute arises about who was responsible for the accident. In these cases, it is also suggested to request the assistance of law enforcement. This offers an investigating office with the chance to record the interviews with each driver, record circumstances of physical evidence found on the scene like debris or skid marks.
Another good reason that you need to contact law enforcement after the accident may be due to possible injuries. On the scene of an accident, or directly afterwards, you may think that you have not sustained any injuries. You might have also said this to the driver of the other car. However, in many cases some injuries only become apparent days or sometimes weeks after the accident. If you have failed to contact a law enforcement agency in order to report your accident, and you find out later that you did sustain injuries, the driver of the other car could take a position that this accident never happened. Without an investigation from law enforcement about your accident, it becomes your opinion and words against that of the opposing driver.
If your accident has occurred in inclement weather, a call to law enforcement or 911 may be responded to that if no injuries occurred, law enforcement agents are unable to respond to the accident because of other emergencies that have arisen from the weather. In this situation, your closest gas station or convenience store often provide an accident report form that both drivers are able to fill out and then mail to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.
Reporting Your Accident To Your Insurance Provider
Individuals who become involved in a minor collision will often attempt to avoid reporting the accident to an insurance company due to 2 reasons:
• The driver of the car is afraid that their current insurance rate will increase or
• One of both drivers make the decision that the accident can be handled without having to involve each insurance company
However, it is very important to know that every insurance policy for automobiles in this country requires that the policy holder must report any type of accident immediately. The failure to report accidents to an insurance provider can result in penalties or complication into the future.
For example, if you made the decision with another driver on the scene of the accident that you are able to “work things out” and you do not file for an insurance claim. What would happen when the driver of the other car, later comes to the realization that the damage is more severe or perhaps the driver finds out later that they have sustained an injury?
If after a period of weeks or even months, the driver of the other car decides to institute a claim for vehicle damage that was unnoticed, or for an injury that has arisen, your insurance provider may deny you protection because you chose to not report your accident. This could mean that your attempt to avoid “possible” increases to your insurance premium could result in significant losses into the future. So, before you make a decision that you might regret, consult with a Miami FL car accident lawyer to discuss your particular situation.
The sole time that it is regarded as reasonable to not report your accident to an insurance provider, like Geico for instance, is when the accident has occurred to your own car, in your own property and there are no injuries involved and the damage that has occurred is to your own property. For example, if you backed your car up into your fence or garage door. It is only in these situations, that there will be no chance for a dispute with some one else about who is to blame for the accident along with no chance of disputes around the costs involved for repairs.
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