If you’re ever involved in a car accident in Florida and the crash results in injury, death, vehicle damage, property damage in excess of $500 or any combination of the prior, you are required by law to report the accident to the local police department, if that accident occurred within a municipality in the state.
If the accident did not occur within a municipality, you then must instead report the accident to the office of the county sheriff or to the closest station or office of the Florida Highway Patrol.
The information outlining responsibility for reporting car accidents is provided with great clarity in the Florida Statutes section 316.065.
The old fender bender question
One of the most common questions people have about reporting car accidents is whether they need to report a minor collision, such as a “fender bender” or an accident just involving a few scrapes.
It might be difficult for the average person to determine the cost of damage to a vehicle, so if you’re at all on the fence about whether to call the police it’s best to just do so to be safe.
That being said, there are many instances in which it’s not necessarily to call the police. If no one is injured and the damage to the vehicle is very minor, both parties can exchange information and go about their day without having to wait for the police to come to the scene.
Even if the damage is minor and there are no injuries, though, you still may find it worthwhile to call the police if the other party is hostile or combative.
For more information about situations in which you do or do not need to call the police after an accident, contact an experienced Manatee County personal injury lawyer at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh.