Car accident laws and procedures are typically not common knowledge. If you don’t have a history of being involved in a car accident, it can be difficult to understand the protocol and requirements to come.
You may find yourself wondering if you are even required to file a police report altogether. Unfortunately, we have experience dealing with cases where the step of filing a police report has been skipped over. This can severely damage a car accident injury case. We understand the appeal of keeping law enforcement out of it, however, it is in your best interest to always report a car accident to the authorities.
Reporting a Car Accident in Florida
In the state of Florida, it is required by law (section 316.065, Florida Statutes) to report your car crash to the authorities if it meets any of the following criteria:
- If the crash caused an injury
- If the crash caused a fatality
- If the crash was a hit and run
- If the crash was caused by DUI
- If the crash caused a roadblock or issue with traffic
- If the crash included a commercial vehicle
- Or if the crash caused significant damage
Given these criteria, we maintain the opinion that it is almost always in your best interest to report all car accidents to the police. Even if you believe that your car accident doesn’t meet the above criteria, injury is always a possibility that could arise long after the accident.
How to File a Car Accident Report
It is always a good idea to call the police to the scene of any car accident. Once the officers arrive on scene they can gather the information needed to complete the report. Depending on the severity, a more lengthy investigation may take place. The details are crucial when it comes to car accident reports. The details will be equally as important in any claims that need to be made later on down the line.
If you were involved in an accident within the last 10 days and a report was not filed on-site by law enforcement, you are able to self-report a car accident online. The same details will be gathered.
The Importance of Filing a Car Accident Report
While you may feel as though your car accident doesn’t need to be filed with the police, it’s important to understand that there are laws set in place by the state of Florida that are there to protect you.
If you opt to not file your collision with the police, you run the risk of losing any compensation you may be entitled to. Without a car accident report, any injuries that come up after the accident will be difficult to gain compensation for. By leaving law enforcement out of your case, you are unintentionally showing the insurance companies that the accident was no big deal OR they could conclude on their own that by leaving law enforcement out, you could have had some fault in the accident.
It is always best to file your car accident right away. Please give us a call today if you have been involved in an accident and are having trouble getting fair compensation.