What Happens If No One Reports a Car Accident to the Police?
After a minor car accident, it is understandable to want to get on with your day as quickly as possible. Most of us are in such tight financial circumstances that a dent in the bumper of our car is the least of our worries; if the car will get us to and from work, then that is much more important than how the car looks. Of course, two drivers can disagree about whether a car accident is a big deal, and two drivers whose cars have just collided with each other tend not to be in the mood to see things from each other’s perspective. When in doubt, you should report the accident to police, because doing so will make it easier to get the money you need from an insurance claim. If you are really in a hurry and the damage seems minor, you should at least exchange contact information with the other driver. If you did not notice any signs of injury at the time of the accident, but symptoms developed several hours later or the next day, contact a Jacksonville car accident lawyer.
Fender Bender or Hit and Run?
Florida, like most states, has a fender bender law, which means that it does not require drivers to report accidents to the police if the accident does not involve bodily injuries and if the property damage, if any, that results from the accident is minor. Meanwhile, if the accident caused at least $500 of property damage, you must report it, whether the damage was all contained within one vehicle or whether two or more vehicles need repair. If anyone gets injured seriously enough to require medical treatment, you must report the accident to police, whether or not there is any visible vehicle damage. If you do not have time to contact a police officer and file a police report, you can fill out the Driver Report of Traffic Crash form online.
There are penalties for failing to report an accident. If you exchange information with the other driver but do not notify police or file the Driver Report of Traffic Crash form, you must pay a $30 ticket. If you leave the scene of an accident without giving your contact information to the other driver, you can face criminal charges for hit and run. The consequences of hit and run can include jail time if the accident caused serious injuries.
If you were injured in a hit and run accident, you can still get the money you need to cover your accident-related medical bills, whether or not the at fault driver gets criminal charges, and even if police never find out who the at fault driver was. The first step is to contact a personal injury lawyer.
Contact Douglas & Douglas About Car Accident Cases
A North Florida personal injury lawyer can help you collect damages for your accident-related injuries if you were injured in a hit and run accident. Contact Douglas & Douglas in Jacksonville, Florida for a free consultation.