Being involved in an auto accident is distressing, but the legal aftermath can be confusing. You might ask, Should I report the accident to insurance? Or you may wonder how to report an accident to insurance. If you’re in Florida, you must report an accident to your insurance company—even if you’re not at fault.
Today, our experienced Tallahassee, Florida accident attorneys discuss these questions to help you navigate the aftermath of an auto accident.
The Importance of Reporting an Accident to Your Insurance
Knowing why you should report an accident to your insurance provider is important. Even if the damage is minimal, unseen issues might surface later. So regardless of how minor the accident might seem, you must notify your insurance company.
By promptly reporting, you safeguard your right to claim compensation under Florida’s no-fault system and potentially under tort law. Remember, your insurance policy is a contract, likely requiring you to report any accident promptly.
When Should I Report the Accident?
Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Most insurance companies require you to report an accident within 24 to 48 hours. But if you’re still dealing with immediate medical emergencies, you can report the incident as soon as you are able to. But be sure to document any injuries sustained and treatments received.
How to Report an Accident to Insurance
How you report the accident to your insurance might vary depending on your carrier. Your insurance company might have an online reporting system, or you might have to call.
Some carriers even have apps to report the accident directly on your mobile phone. If you have an insurance agent, your first point of contact might be the agent rather than the claims department.
No matter which method applies, you must gather as much info as possible when reporting. This information includes the other driver’s information, witness contact information, and, if possible, photos of the scene and vehicle damage.
When you’re setting up a claim, give a truthful and detailed account. Avoid speculation or guesswork. If you’re unsure about a detail, say so.
How to Report a Hit and Run to Insurance
Reporting a hit-and-run incident involves some additional steps. First, immediately call the police to report the accident. A police report is crucial in hit-and-run cases. You should not leave the accident scene without calling the police.
Next, gather as much evidence as possible from the scene. That could include photos, witness information, and any details you have about the fleeing vehicle. Then, notify your insurance company of the incident. They’ll guide you through subsequent steps based on your coverage and local laws.
Filing an Insurance Claim Without a Police Report
While it’s always best to have a police report when filing an insurance claim, sometimes circumstances might prevent you from obtaining an accident report for insurance. So, what do you do in the case of an accident that did not result in a police report?
First, you should still report the accident to your insurance company and provide them with all the information you have about the incident. Include details like the accident time, date, location, description of what happened, and information about any other parties involved.
Photos of the accident scene and vehicle damage can help strengthen your claim—especially in the absence of a report. If there were witnesses, their statements could be beneficial.
Remember that while it’s possible to file an insurance claim without a police report, having one often simplifies the process and gives your claim more validity. So, it’s best to report all accidents to the police when they occur.
The Role of Florida’s No-Fault Insurance Laws
Under Florida’s no-fault insurance laws, each party’s insurance covers their damages, regardless of who is at fault.
That means you must report the accident to your insurer, regardless of who caused the incident. You should be covered under your own Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage up to the limit you purchased.
After Reporting the Accident
The claim process begins once you’ve reported the accident to your insurance company. The company assigns a claims adjuster to your case who’ll review the accident details and determine the settlement amount based on your coverage and the damage incurred.
Navigating the process of reporting an accident to insurance can be daunting, especially when dealing with injuries, time off work, and recovery. Remember, a lawyer can help if the process becomes too overwhelming.
We understand the nuances of insurance law and can guide you through the claim process. We protect your rights and help you fight for the compensation you’re entitled to receive.
Contact a Florida Car Accident Lawyer
If you’re in a car accident in Florida, understanding how to report it to your insurance company is vital.
Remember to report promptly, provide accurate information, and consider seeking professional legal advice to ensure a smoother claims process. Reporting might seem like a challenging task in an already stressful situation, but it’s an essential step towards getting the compensation you deserve.
Our lawyers at Nonni Homola have over 40 years of legal experience. We understand the no-fault laws in Florida and what types of injuries qualify for filing a third-party liability claim.