Florida’s Car Accident Reporting Requirements
In Florida, drivers who are involved in car accidents are obligated to take certain steps, including remaining at the scene of the crash. There are severe repercussions for failing to abide by these rules. For instance, by leaving the scene of an accident, a driver could endanger an accident victim, who could have benefited from immediate medical attention. Besides the impact on other parties who were involved in a crash, failing to remain at the scene of an accident could result in a felony charge and the loss of one’s driver’s license.
Remaining at the Scene of the Accident
Under Florida law, motorists who are involved in car crashes must stay at the scene of the accident, even if no one is injured. As long as there is property damage, including to the cars themselves, then a motorist has a legal obligation to remain at the crash until he or she has been able to report the crash to the owner. If the other owner isn’t present and cannot be located, then the motorist must leave a written notice that includes his or her name, address, and vehicle registration number in an open and obvious location for the owner to find. Failing to report an accident in this way is a misdemeanor offense.
Besides remaining at the scene of an accident, Florida motorists must also exchange their information with other parties who were involved in the crash, including:
- Their address;
- Their driver’s license number;
- Their vehicle registration number; and
- Their liability insurance information.
The same information must be provided to any law enforcement officers who arrive at the scene. Providing this information is critical, as it gives the parties a much better chance of resolving any insurance disputes that may arise.
Rendering Reasonable Assistance
Florida law also requires motorists who have been involved in an accident to render reasonable assistance to any injured parties. This includes making arrangements for the injured motorist to obtain medical assistance and when necessary, to actually transport them to the hospital. These measures could make all the difference in how soon an injured party is able to receive treatment.
Reporting the Car Accident
Under Florida law, drivers involved in car accidents must immediately report the crash to law enforcement officers if the crash resulted in:
- An injury;
- A death; or
- At least $500 estimated vehicle or property damage.
Once they have arrived at the scene, police officers will not only ensure that the parties are no longer in danger from other vehicles, but can start compiling information about the crash. This information will later be included in a report that could provide crucial details regarding fault and damages. Parties to an accident can seek a copy of this report within a couple of days of their crash. If law enforcement officers don’t arrive, motorists can instead complete a Driver Report of Traffic Crash online. The form can also be downloaded and submitted in person.
Fort Lauderdale Auto Accident Lawyer
In Florida, negligent drivers who cause car accidents can and should be held liable for their actions. For help seeking compensation after your own crash, call the dedicated Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys at Boone & Davis today.