How Long Do You Have to Report a Car Accident in Florida?
By Space Coast Daily // June 7, 2020
There are about 200,000 car accidents reported in Florida each year. Being in a car accident is unfortunate, and an accident can have a lasting impact on your life. In the state of Florida, you have up to 10 days to file a car accident report.
Typically, the police are called on-site when the car accident occurs. In this situation, the officer will file a police report. If an officer files a police report for the car accident, you are not required to file another report.
Florida Car Accident Reporting Rules
Florida has rules for reporting car accidents. Specifically, Florida Statute 316.066 requires that all car accidents that meet certain guidelines file a police report within 10 days after the car accident. What are the guidelines?
In Florida, a car accident is required to be reported if it:
• Resulted in death, injury, or pain
• Involved car or property damage
• Caused a vehicle to be towed or resulted in a total loss due to damages
• A commercial motor vehicle was involved
By law, if the car accident resulted in any of the above criteria an accident report is required. Additionally, if the police were not notified at the scene of the accident, the responsibility falls on the involved parties to report the accident.
How to File a Report
To file a report, contact the local police. You can also contact the Florida Highway Patrol. Someone at either agency can help you locate the correct police station to file the report.
There is also the option to self-report by mail. An online self-reporting form can be accessed through the Florida Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles website. Self-reporting by mail may take longer, so it is critical that you follow-up with the department to ensure they received the report.
Why It Is Important to File a Car Accident Report
Filing a car accident report is required by law according to the guidelines of Statue 316.066. Not reporting a car accident can lead to a traffic violation ticket.
Sometimes court appearances are scheduled for traffic violations. In Florida, traffic violations can also lead to mandatory community service hours. Ignoring traffic violations can potentially lead to license suspension.
Another reason reporting a car accident is important is because someone could be injured. Even with a small fender bender, it is possible that someone can be hurt. Unfortunately, sometimes car accident injuries can take days or weeks to show up.
By filing a car accident report, you have proof of the accident. If injuries show up at a later time, the accident report can be used as documentation. Also, a report is needed to file claims with insurance companies.
About Car Insurance Reporting
The importance of car insurance during a car accident is essential. When a car accident occurs, you should file a police report and then call your car insurance provider.
Any type of damage, whether it be property or car damage is reported to the insurance company. Car insurance policies are different, so it is highly recommended that you research the time frame your insurance provider gives you to submit a car accident claim.
What to Do Next
After you complete the accident reporting and speak with your car insurance, contacting an attorney can be helpful. Accident injury lawyers can help you answer questions about your accident.
It is particularly important to contact a personal injury lawyer if someone was hurt during the accident. Depending on the severity of the car accident, the insurance company may offer you a settlement. However, they are in the business of profits so it may not be enough to cover your damages.
Car accidents can lead to extreme loss from medical bills to job loss. The legal services from an attorney can help you review your car accident case. Remember, car accidents can lead to physical, emotional, and psychological issues. The most important thing to do after an accident is to take care of yourself.
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