Florida law dictates that motorists must report an accident when any individual is injured or killed. This law includes drivers, passengers, cyclists, and pedestrians. Additionally, if the accident appears to have caused at least $500 worth of property damage or a commercial motor vehicle was involved, the accident must also be reported. Lastly, if one of the drivers appears to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the incident must also be brought to the attention of the authorities.
If you have been involved in any motor vehicle accident, one of the best steps you can take to protect yourself is to contact an auto accident lawyer as soon as possible.
How Long Do I Have to Report the Accident?
If you were involved in an accident that resulted in injuries or death, you must report it immediately to law enforcement authorities. Otherwise, you have up to 10 days to file a report. If you fail to report a reportable accident in Florida, you face a potential fine, as failure to make a report on a reportable accident is considered to be a non-moving traffic infraction.
Furthermore, if law enforcement officials did not investigate the accident, failure to file a written report may result in a separate non-moving traffic violation. It should be noted that non-moving traffic violations are not considered criminal acts but can result in points on your driving record, fines, and even a possible license suspension.
What if I Am Physically Unable to Report an Accident?
If you have been injured and are physically unable to report the accident, either orally or via written report, you are legally exempt during the time you are recovering. However, if there were passengers in the vehicle at the time of the collision, they are responsible for filing a report since the driver is unable to do so on their own. If the individual who was driving the vehicle was injured and unable to make the report but was not the vehicle’s owner, the registered owner is legally obligated to file the report within ten days of the accident.
Who Can Request Vehicle Accident Reports?
Any party involved in the incident can request a copy of the accident report. Likewise, several other various entities may also request a copy which includes:
- Law enforcement agencies
- Insurance agents
- Legal counsel
- The Florida Department of Transportation
- Media outlets, including radio, newspapers, and television stations
To obtain a vehicle accident report, the individual requesting the document must provide a valid photo ID and sign a sworn statement attesting to the fact that the information will not be used for commercial solicitation.
How Can an Attorney Help Me After I Have Been Involved in an Auto Accident?
If you have been involved in an auto accident, you must report the accident as soon as possible. This will help to protect you should any legal action arise. Furthermore, it is always the best policy to consult with an attorney if you have been involved in an accident.
Our law firm’s auto accident attorneys can provide sound legal advice after an accident. The legal process can be challenging to try and navigate on your own. Contact us at 772-773-6697 and ask to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.