You have 10 days to report a car accident in Florida. In most cases, the drivers involved call police from the scene of the accident, and the responding officers file a report. You do not have to file a report if this occurs.
If you do not call police from the scene, you probably need to file a report with the local police department or the agency that has jurisdiction over the accident site. Some very minor accidents do not require reporting, but most do.
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Car Accident Reporting Requirements Under Florida Law
Florida lawmakers outline the rules for filing a report after a car accident in Florida Statute § 316.066. This statute requires anyone who is in a crash that meets certain requirements to contact police and file a police report. This includes any accident that causes:
- $500 in property damage to either or both vehicles
- Any injuries, “complaints of pain or discomfort,” or death
- Any vehicle to require towing from the scene
In addition, you need to file a report if any involved motorist is driving a commercial vehicle or a drunk driver.
If you did not call 911 from the scene, you will need to contact the city police, the local sheriff, or the Florida Highway Patrol to identify the appropriate law enforcement agency who has jurisdiction for your accident, and to file a report.
The Importance of Filing a Report After a Florida Car Accident
The law makes it clear that you must contact police and file a report if your car accident is serious enough to require it. If you fail to, you could receive a ticket for a traffic violation. While this is a noncriminal offense, you might have to appear in court and/or perform community service hours.
It is also a good idea to report an accident to police even if you do not believe you suffered injuries. If your injuries show up later, your insurance company will ask for the police report when you file a claim. It may be the only way to link your injuries or damages to the accident, and the insurance company may deny your claim without it.
Reporting Your Car Accident to Your Insurance Carrier
In addition to filing a police report, you will need to report any injuries or property damage to your insurance company quickly after your accident. Many policies have deadlines to contact them about any crash, even if you are not sure you will need to file a claim. In some cases, this could be as little as a few days.
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Talk to a Florida Car Accident Attorney About Your Crash
If you have any questions or concerns about getting the compensation you need to pay for your medical care, lost wages, or other losses stemming from a Florida traffic accident, the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine is here to help. Call us today at 800-747-3733 for a free consultation.