How long do I have to report a car accident in the state of Florida?
Nobody wants to be involved in a car accident, but they happen and chances are you will be involved in at least a couple within your lifetime. You should be aware of what the laws involving automobile accidents in Florida involve. There are certain things you must do, including how long you have to report the accident, the information you must exchange and a few other things that are always important.
As soon as the accident happens, you need to stop your vehicle and position it in a way that won't put anybody else in danger. If your vehicle isn't running, you need to call a tow truck to get it out of the road or move it away from danger.
After you have moved your vehicle out of the way, you need to check for injuries. If anybody is injured, call 9-1-1 immediately and let them know that someone is injured. You cannot leave the scene of the accident or you could be charged with a hit-and-run.
At this point, you need to exchange information with all other drivers and injured persons involved in the accident. You need to college insurance information, names, phone numbers, addresses, license numbers, license plate numbers and even take pictures, if you can. This will all help to protect you later on if a lawsuit is filed.
If law enforcement arrives on the scene, let them decide when you are allowed to leave to avoid any criminal charges for a hit-and-run. If not, you cannot leave until all information is exchanged. Once exchanged, you can go on your way, as long as all injured parties have been taken care of and all involved are satisfied with the information provided.
If the police take information and file a report, you won't have to file a crash report. This will take care of your obligation and you will just need to obtain a copy of the police report (you can get instructions on where and how to do this from one of the officers) and forward it to your insurance company.
However, if the police don't file a report or don't show up to the scene of the accident, you have 10 days from the date of the accident to file a crash report. The report needs to be sent to the Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles in your area and sent to the attention of the Traffic Crash Record Section.
If you have been injured in the accident and are unable to contact the police or file the report after the accident, someone else can file it on your behalf. A passenger can cause the police or if you don't own the vehicle, the owner of the vehicle can file the crash report for you.
In the event that you hit an unoccupied vehicle in a parking lot or anywhere else, you are required to try to find the owner of the vehicle and notify them of the accident. If you cannot find them, you must attach a note (under the windshield wiper blade is usually best) giving them your name, address, license plate number and any other important information. If you don't, you could be accused of a hit-and-run, which comes with criminal charges. You also want to report the accident to law enforcement immediately.