Should You Call the Cops for a Fender Bender in St. Petersburg?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that millions of car accidents are reported to local law enforcement annually. An incalculable number of collisions go unreported when the drivers choose not to call the police after a wreck. 

There may be many reasons why you might want to avoid police contact after a car accident in St. Petersburg, FL. As valid as those reasons may seem, there are still situations where calling the police after a car accident is the best course of action.

Reasons St. Petersburg Drivers Avoid Calling the Police

After a car accident, you or the other driver may be tempted not to contact law enforcement. 

The reasons might include:

  • The damage to the vehicles appears too insignificant
  • The time it takes police to respond is too long
  • Fear of police searching one of the cars and finding illegal items
  • One driver having warrants or being wanted by the police
  • Driving with a suspended license (or no license at all)

You do not need the other driver’s permission to contact the police. The other driver’s motivations for not wanting police involved should not influence your decision over whether to call for law enforcement help.

When to Report a Car Crash to St. Petersburg Police

After a car crash, one of the first decisions you will need to make is whether to involve law enforcement. Some of the situations in which you should contact the police happen to coincide with the situations in which you are required by Florida law to make a report.

Death, Injuries, or Significant Property Damage

If you, a passenger, or anyone at the scene appears to be injured or deceased after the wreck, you should report the crash immediately by dialing 911. Be prepared to give the dispatcher the location of the crash and how many people appear to be hurt.

If you are able to assist, the dispatcher may direct you to provide first aid to the injured until help arrives. The dispatcher will likely want to remain on the phone line with you so that they can receive updated information from you and relay this information to the first responders.

You should also contact the police if there appears to be significant damage to any vehicle or other property. Significant damage in this context means $500 or more. If you are in doubt, err on the side of caution, and report the crash.

The Other Driver Has Fled the Scene

If you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident and the other driver does not remain on the scene, you should contact the police right away and make a report. If possible, remain where you are until officers arrive so they can document the scene.

Try to give the officers as much detail about the crash and the other driver as possible. The more detail you can provide, and the sooner you provide such detail, the greater the chance that police will be able to locate the other driver.

Alcohol or Drugs Were Involved

You should report a wreck to law enforcement if you believe the other driver is impaired by drugs or alcohol. An odor of drugs or alcohol, trouble balancing, or admissions to recent drug or alcohol consumption may all indicate that a driver is intoxicated.

Police Reports Can Provide Invaluable Evidence in a Florida Car Accident Claim 

You may always contact the police and report an accident when you feel you should do so. If you plan on submitting a claim to insurance or wish to pursue compensation from the at-fault party, a police report may be helpful evidence to have in your possession. It will also help you or your personal injury lawyer establish fault if necessary and explain how your accident occurred. 

Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm – Lopez Accident Injury Attorneys

Contact a car accident lawyer in St. Petersburg at Lopez Accident Injury Attorneys and schedule a free case review today.

Lopez Accident Injury Attorneys

700 7th Ave N Suite B
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 933-0015

Other Cases We Cover

Car Accident Resources