Drivers are required to report most car accidents in Florida. Failing to report a car accident when required by law could result in fines, suspended driving privileges, and other penalties. 

Knowing when to file a car accident report in Orlando, FL, can be difficult. The information below answers common questions about car accident reports and provides guidance on what to do after a car accident.

FAQs About Car Accident Reports in Florida

In many cases, you are required to file a car accident report after a car accident in the State of Florida. Let’s look at answers to questions about car accident reports that will help you know what to do after a car accident in Orlando, FL.

When Am I Required To File a Car Accident Report in Florida?

Florida Statute §316.065 requires drivers to immediately contact law enforcement if they are involved in a collision that results in:

  • $500 or more in damage to property, either the vehicles involved or other property
  • A person is injured, regardless of the severity of the injury
  • A fatal car accident 
  • The crash involved a hit-and-run driver
  • A commercial motor vehicle was involved in the crash
  • The accident involves a drunk or drugged driver
  • A wrecker is required to remove one or more vehicles from the accident scene

If none of the criteria apply, the driver may self-report by filing a Driver Report of Traffic Crash with the Florida Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles. 

The quickest way to fulfill the requirement to “immediately report” a car wreck is to call 911. The emergency operator dispatches law enforcement officers and emergency medical services to the accident scene. The officers will investigate the cause of the car crash and file a crash report.

It is important to remember that a minor car crash can cause more than $500 in property damage. Likewise, a minor car accident can result in injuries. Therefore, it is usually best to call 911 from the accident scene to report the crash and wait for officers to respond.

What Happens if I Don’t File a Car Accident Report in Florida?

Filing a police report is a legal obligation if the crash meets the above criteria. Therefore, failing to file a car accident report when required could result in a citation and a fine.

However, you might also be charged with causing a hit-and-run accident if you leave the accident and do not file a report. It would be your word against the other driver. A hit and run is charged as a third-degree felony, but the charge could increase to a second or first-degree felony depending on the seriousness of the accident.

The best way to protect yourself and your rights is to remain at the accident scene, call 911, and document the accident scene by taking photographs, making a video, and asking witnesses for their contact information. 

What Is a Florida Traffic Accident Report?

Law enforcement officers are required by Florida law to file a long-form crash report after investigating a traffic accident. Officers must investigate and file the long form for the same reasons a driver is required to report a traffic accident. 

A Florida traffic crash report contains information you will need when you file an insurance or personal injury claim. Information in a crash report includes, but is not limited to:

  • The location, time, and date of the traffic accident
  • The name and address of each driver
  • Identification details for each vehicle involved in the car accident, such as the model, make, and year of the car
  • Insurance information 

An officer may include their determination of fault and which driver contributed to the cause of the accident. The accident might also include information about eyewitnesses, passengers, and other individuals involved in the car accident.

Some car accident reports have more details than other reports. It depends on the officer completing the report. You should always obtain a copy of the accident report for your records.

How Do I Get a Copy of a Florida Traffic Crash Report?

You can request a copy of your accident report from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles through the online portal. Only specific people can access crash reports because the reports contain personal information about the parties involved in the crash. 

If you hire an Orlando car accident lawyer, your attorney will obtain a copy of the crash report on your behalf. You can schedule a free consultation with a car accident attorney in Orlando if you have questions or want more information about filing a car accident claim. 

Contact Our Orlando Car Accident Law Firm For Help Today

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Orlando, Florida, and need legal help, contact our experienced car accident lawyers at Payer Law Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today.

We proudly serve Orange County and its surrounding areas: