When Do I Report a Car Accident in Florida?
We strongly urge you to report all motor vehicle accidents to law enforcement so that they will complete and file an accident report. It is not in your best interest to try to negotiate an agreement with the other driver to settle damages. Failing to report an accident results in a “he said — she said” situation. Therefore, always call 911 after any accident to request a police officer. The police officer will complete the accident report and file it with the appropriate office. If the accident results in an injury or $500 or more in damage, you are required to report your accident immediately using the fastest means possible (i.e. calling 911).
Being in an accident is a terrifying event, especially if this is your first accident. You may not know where to turn or what you need to do. Our Florida car accident attorneys are here to help you. We will take care of matters related to the accident and your injury claim for you. It is our goal to take as much stress off of your shoulders so you can focus on your health and well-being.
What if the Officer Does Not File A Crash Report?
By law, if the police don’t respond to an accident scene or the officer doesn’t file a report for any reason, the law requires you to self-report the collision within ten days of the accident. The traffic crash report must be filed with the Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles, Traffic Crash Records Section, 2900 Apalachee Parkway, MS 28, Tallahassee, Florida 32399. Make sure that you complete all information on the form, sign the form where indicated, and keep a copy of the form for your records.
You may download a copy of a report in PDF format from the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle’s website. You may also file a report of a traffic crash online. Once you complete the online form, the Driver Self-Report can be saved or printed for your records.
Why Do I Need to File a Report of My Traffic Accident?
In addition to being required by law to report a collision, you also need a record of your crash for insurance purposes. If you don’t have a record of the crash, the other driver could dispute they were ever involved. Even though Florida is a no-fault insurance state, your damages could exceed your PIP coverage. Therefore, you may need to file a car accident lawsuit against the other driver to pursue compensation. If this occurs, you need an official record of the accident to help support your claims. Furthermore, although you may be dealing with your insurance company under your PIP coverage, you still want an official record of the collision just in case any issue arises that impacts your ability to receive compensation for your damages.
Don’t let a car accident turn into a nightmare injury claim. Report all accidents immediately to 911.