Is a Police Report Required to Pursue a Claim or Case for an Injured Child Pedestrian or Bicyclist in Florida?

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In Florida, when a child is injured as a result of a bicycle and pedestrian accident, the police are typically called to the scene of the accident. When a police officer is called to the scene of a bicycle / pedestrian / automobile accident, a report is typically prepared which includes the name and address of the driver(s) and bicyclist(s) / pedestrian(s). The report also will contain insurance information, details of the accident,witness information, and a diagram or summary of the accident. Information obtained in police report is often helpful to the parents and/or the attorney pursuing a claim or case on behalf of an injured child. While information in a police report can helpful, a police report is not a prerequisite or requirement under Florida law in order to pursue a case or claim on behalf of an injured child pedestrian or an injured child bicyclist. In some instances involving a pedestrian and bicycle accident, the police are not called. The decision to avoid a call to police may be to save time to get the child treated or to give the at fault driver a break from getting a citation for the incident.

Most Florida Personal Injury Attorneys will advise a parent to contact the police following a bicycle or pedestrian accident so that a report can be issued. Ideally, the police are contacted at the time of the incident so that information can be obtained when it was fresh and the scene of the accident can be assessed and documented by the responding police officer.

With or without a police report in place, any claim or case on behalf an injured child can be pursued assuming following four elements can be established on the case:

1. Duty;
2. Breach of Duty;
3. Causation; and
4. Damages.

Essentially, it must be shown that the driver was at fault or at least partially at fault for the accident that the child suffered injuries as a result of the accident. Any time, there is a claim for injuries involving an insurance company, the insurance company will investigate the accident, evaluate the injuries, and in many cases challenge both the liability and damages allegedly caused by the pedestrian accident or bicycle accident. Because of the complexities of these cases and the difficulties in dealing with insurance companies, it is advisable that a parent of an injured child contact a Florida Child Injury Lawyer for advice, consultation, and legal representation. The book titled The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on Automobile Accidents, Medical Treatment and Bills, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.