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Accident Guide in Florida

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No one likes to think about being in an accident. But, unfortunately, it's a situation that you'll likely face―perhaps more than once. So you should be aware of what Florida law requires you to do if you're in an accident.

Following the Accident

You must stop your vehicle immediately after the accident. Position your vehicle in a manner that won't obstruct other motorists. If you can't do this, then either ask for help, or call a tow truck.

If someone has been hurt, you must attempt to secure medical help right away, or take the injured to receive help. When staying at the scene, you must remain until help arrives.

Give your name, address, and registration number to anyone involved in the accident who requests this information. You may have to show your driver's license, too. Law enforcement officers arriving on the scene have the right to all of this information, as well.

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Accidents involving an injury or death, a hit-and-run or intoxicated driver, or property damage that appears to be over $500 need to be reported immediately to law enforcement. The investigating officer will make a written report on all accidents involving a death or injury.

If an officer completes a report, you won't need to file a crash report (HTML version or PDF version.) However, if a crash report hasn't been filed by law enforcement, then you'll need to do so within 10 days of the accident.

Accidents with Unoccupied Vehicles

You're backing out of a parking space. You swear you have enough room to safely maneuver your vehicle and be on your way. But that annoying astigmatism of yours gets in the way, and you end up putting a dent into the front fender of some poor soul's vehicle.

What should you do?

For this and all other accidents involving an unoccupied vehicle or property other than a vehicle, you're required to notify the owner. If you cannot find the owner, then attach a note to the damaged vehicle or property which contains your name, address, and license plate number. Be sure to write legibly. Also, report the accident to law enforcement right away.

Penalties

The state is serious about your behavior following an accident. Failing to follow the proper procedures could result in license revocation, criminal charges, and other penalties.

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