In Florida, failing to report an accident can result in costly fines. When there are injuries or substantial property damage, drivers are required by law to contact the authorities following a collision. You could risk criminal charges if you don’t report the accident and then leave the scene.
If law enforcement was called to the scene of the accident, you are relieved of the duty to provide a written report. If you’ve already spoken with a law enforcement official about the accident, they don’t need to hear from you again until anything changes. Discuss your situation with an Orlando car accident lawyer.
Florida’s Criminal Sanctions for Not Reporting a Car Accident
Failing to report an accident as required by Florida Law 316.066 might result in civil penalties rather than criminal charges. There is a $30 fine for not reporting an accident. This is not a criminal crime, so you won’t face jail time if you’re found guilty.
If you don’t call the police after an accident, the consequences will be significantly worse. If there was significant property damage, injuries, or fatalities in the accident, leaving the scene is a crime that carries serious penalties.
Calling the police to report an accident is the best course of action. If anyone, including pedestrians, passengers, yourself, or the other vehicle’s occupants, appears to have been wounded, be sure to mention it. A little scrape or bruise would still qualify as an injury because there is no threshold for what constitutes an injury. Taking no chances is usually the safest option.
When to Contact the Police Following an Accident
It is not mandatory under state law for drivers to contact the police after any car accident. Fender benders and other minor mishaps do not warrant calling the police. In the event of an accident, you must contact the authorities if any of the following apply:
- injuries to the body caused by an accident
- Fatal incidents of accidents
Situations where there is visible property damage of $500 or more
It’s worth noting that a lot of car accidents fall unIder the property damage threshold of $500, which is quite low. In the actual world of auto maintenance, even inexpensive body work can set you back more than $500. Unless the damage is minimal, the cost of an automobile collision is likely to exceed $500.