If you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident in the state of Florida, you’ll likely require an accident report. Official crash reports document the facts of the collision. Having yours can help you get the compensation you’re owed for any damages you sustained in the crash.
Often, drivers think that accidents are minor enough not to need a report. You and the other driver might agree to trade contact information and deal with the expenses yourselves. But that’s not a safe choice since neglecting to file a report can have unexpected repercussions and weaken your position in any future insurance claims or lawsuits. It’s also required by law.
The state of Florida requires motorists to report accidents to the police or Florida Highway Patrol. You call the police to file a car crash report immediately if any of the following occur:
If your crash doesn’t meet these parameters, the state of Florida allows you to file your own report with the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles within ten days of the accident.
If you need to file a lawsuit, provide evidence for a personal injury claim, or seek compensation from your insurer for your accident, a crash report will be required.
An accident report can be useful to you in more ways than you might think. It documents any resulting property damages and personal injuries, making it easier for you to build a case in the future, should you wish to seek compensation.
Accident reports detail the facts of motor vehicle crashes, including the injuries sustained, property damage, a narrative on how the accident occurred, the traffic conditions at the time of the accident, and contact and identification information for all parties involved. In calling the police to document these factors, you make it far easier to file a claim or lawsuit supported by unbiased evidence.
It’s crucial to call 911 immediately after a crash. If you don’t, it will be much harder to build a case for compensation from your insurer. Insurance companies and courts consider the responding law enforcement officer who files your report a neutral third party, meaning their account of the accident constitutes an impartial record of the scene.
Depending on the facts of the crash, the report could be crucial to your claim. It keeps track of the actual events of the crash, rather than what you and the other parties remember. An official Florida crash report will make filing an insurance claim easier because it contains proof of your injuries and other damages caused by the collision. That could make you eligible for compensation. A report can also prove that you were not at fault, making it easier to prevent insurance companies from raising your monthly rates.
In Florida, failing to report a crash is punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a potential felony charge, depending on the severity of the damages and injuries. Call the police at the scene to create a crash report to avoid any potential charges.
Regardless of what you think caused the crash, it’s a good idea to refrain from admitting fault at the scene or later. But because of Florida’s no-fault insurance regulations, each party’s insurance carrier will cover them, regardless of their liability for the crash.
When you call the police to the scene, they should document all the necessary details in an unbiased, impartial account of the accident. If the police take a long time to arrive or the other party refuses to wait, there are several things you can document to protect yourself.
You don’t need to gather information from anyone else at the scene, including witness accounts. The best thing to do is to wait for a law enforcement official to arrive. They’ll conduct an investigation and include their conclusions in the formal crash report.
When filing an insurance claim for any motor vehicle accident you’re involved in, you should be ready to provide your insurance company with a copy of the official crash report. Insurers use it to determine what kind of compensation you can receive under your policy.
Florida is a no-fault state, so you’ll be covered regardless of your fault. Nevertheless, a crash report is critical to ensuring you get the money you need for your injuries and vehicle.