If you are injured by a negligent driver in a central Florida car accident, as soon as you have been treated by a health care provider, arrange to discuss your legal rights and options with an Orlando personal injury attorney.
It isn’t difficult to be injured in a Florida car accident. In 2021, more than 400,000 traffic accidents were reported in Florida, resulting in more than 250,000 reported injuries. Those numbers include more than 3,700 fatalities.
Those were reported accidents, but what can happen if you don’t report a car accident in Florida? If you’ll keep reading, you’ll learn the answer to that question, and you’ll learn more about your rights if you’ve been injured by a negligent motorist.
What Does the Law Require?
Florida requires drivers to report accidents if anyone has been injured or killed. Additionally, if the property damage appears to exceed $500 worth of damage, the accident must be reported. The law requires the report to be made immediately or as quickly as possible.
You probably know that even minor bodywork can cost more than $500, and most car crashes easily exceed the $500 legal threshold.
If the police conduct an investigation at the scene of the accident, a driver is not required to file a written accident report, but if no investigation was conducted, a driver has ten days to submit a written report to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
In Florida, the failure to report an accident that you are required to report is considered a non-moving traffic infraction rather than a crime, and the penalty is a $30 fine.
When Should You Report an Accident to Your Auto Insurance Company?
Most auto insurance policies require drivers to notify the company as soon as possible after an accident happens. A failure to inform your auto insurance company about an accident could trigger a denial of your property damage or injury claim or even the cancellation of your policy.
You are not obligated to speak with the other motorist’s insurance company or to inform that company of the accident. If you’ve been injured, refer all of that company’s inquiries to your Orlando personal injury attorney, who will do all of the talking and negotiating on your behalf.
What Constitutes Leaving the Scene of an Accident?
Don’t leave the scene of an accident until a police officer dismisses you. Even if no one has been injured, leaving the scene of an accident that involves property damage is a misdemeanor in Florida that may be penalized upon conviction with a jail term and a fine.
If you leave the scene of an accident that resulted in an injury or a fatality, it’s a serious offense – a felony that can send you to prison if you are convicted.
What Else Should You Know?
Report every accident. Never leave the scene. If you’ve been injured because the other driver was negligent, you are entitled by Florida law to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, personal pain and suffering, and related damages and losses.
If you’ve been injured by a negligent driver, as soon as you’ve received medical treatment, call an Orlando personal injury attorney at 407-426-7222. As a victim of negligence, compensation is your right. We will fight for the compensation – and for the justice – you need and deserve.