The moments right after a car crash often leave victims tremendously distressed. They tend to grapple with the devastation that just happened. As the shock settles, their subsequent courses of action must be to stop somewhere safe without obstructing traffic, and provide medical assistance to other potential victims.
After exchanging information with other parties involved, Florida law requires drivers to report the accident to the highway patrol or police immediately under specific circumstances.
What are the required times to report a crash?
Unless an investigating law enforcement officer has already accomplished a crash report, victims must file it within 10 days since the collision occurred when it involves the following:
- A hit-and-run offense
- An intoxicated driver
- Death, injury, or any indication of pain or suffering
- Property damage exceeding $500 or necessitating a wrecker due to the severity of the incident
The traffic crash report includes personal information of all drivers, passengers and witnesses, details of each affected vehicle and their respective insurance companies, and conditions related to the crash (date, time and place). There may also be a diagram or a sketch that can help demonstrate other surrounding elements (intersections, traffic signals and potential mechanical defects).
However, when the driver is physically incapable of making the report, other occupants during the crash or the vehicle owner can complete it on their behalf.
Why is filing a crash report crucial?
A crash report can serve as supporting evidence in a personal injury suit. The police officer at the scene can provide a neutral perspective and dispute the other party’s version of events. Victims must seek legal support on how to use the document as proof to validate their claim and pursue fair compensation. As the health of victims recover, their counsel can aggressively protect their rights and seek liability.