According to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), you must report an accident to the police or the Florida Highway Patrol, if:
- The accident resulted in a death
- Victims suffered bodily injuries
- There were property damages worth more than $500
- A commercial vehicle was involved
- The accident was a hit and run
- A wrecker is required to remove a vehicle
- A DUI is involved
Since some injuries are not readily apparent, you should play it safe and call the police to the scene. They can file an official crash report to document the accident.
How Do You File a Report After an Auto Accident?
In Florida, a crash report has to be completed and submitted by the police officer investigating the auto accident within ten days of finalizing their investigation. If you did not call the police to the scene but are required to file a report, you must also submit it within ten days of the accident.
The report usually contains all the facts of the auto accident that occurred, such as:
- When and where the accident occurred
- The description of the cars involved in the accident
- The contact information and names of the drivers as well as the passengers involved in the accident
- Information of the vehicles involved, such as the license plates and their origin states
- The contact information and names of the witnesses
- The badge number and names of the law enforcement officer investigating the accident
- Insurance firms covering the parties involved in the accident
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Who Is Privy to the Crash Report?
The auto accident report is usually accessed upon request by individuals directly involved in the accident. The insurance agents, law enforcement agencies, and legal counsel of the parties involved can also access the report.
Everyone privy to this information is required to provide ?a sworn declaration that they’ll not use the information for commercial solicitation. Furthermore, the law also requires anyone privy to the report to provide photo identification.
What Happens If You don’t Meet the Long Form Crash Report Requirements?
If the auto accident doesn’t meet the criteria for filing a Long Form crash report, a short-form version of the report suffices. In some cases, the police officer investigating the accident may give each party involved an exchange-of-information form to fill out. Drivers involved in the accident must inform their insurers of the accident as soon as possible.
We advise you not to share details about any injuries sustained with your insurance company, as this may negatively impact the compensation afforded to you.
Parties involved in the accident have up to 24 hours to avail their insurance, failure to which will result in the issuance of a non-moving violation. While this violation doesn’t lead to license cancellation, it will appear on your driving record.
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What Else Can You Do After an Auto Accident?
After filing an accident report, you must refrain from sharing any information that may implicate you in court. Therefore, keep off social media to protect your compensation claim. Insurance agents may use your photos or words to disprove your injuries.
In some instances, insurance firms may offer you a low amount as compensation to prevent you from going to court. Instead of accepting the offer, you should speak to your lawyer about it and understand what losses could make you eligible for damages.
Consult your physician on how long any injuries you suffered will take to heal, as you may incur medical expenses in the future. Include all these bills in the amount you demand as compensation. A lawyer from our firm can assess any settlement offer and prevent you from leaving money on the table during negotiations.
Contact The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine for Legal Assistance
While you only have to report an auto accident under certain circumstances, you should always call a police officer to the scene. They can ensure your accident is documented, and their report can serve as vital evidence for your case. Above all, know that you have a right to legal representation when you pursue compensation.
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