After a car accident, the combination of adrenaline and confusion can overwhelm you, putting you in a state of shock that impairs clear thinking. This can lead you to forget crucial details about the accident or cause you to fail to report it promptly and properly. In Florida, failure to report an accident can lead to a range of consequences impacting your finances, driving record, and even your ability to file an insurance claim. If you’re a Florida driver, it’s imperative that you understand what your responsibilities are and the repercussions of not reporting an accident.

Failure to Report An Accident

Florida’s Accident Reporting Laws - Rules On Harm, Damage, and Unattended Property

Florida’s accident reporting laws mandate reporting any collision that extends beyond minor paint scratches. While the failure to report an accident is a non-moving violation that results in a traffic citation, the circumstances surrounding the accident can lead to both civil and criminal consequences.

Major Accidents Involving Death, Injury, or Property Damage

If you are in a car accident that results in death, injury, or property damage that exceeds $500.00, you must stop, render aid if possible, and report the accident to the relevant authorities.

Who To Contact?

If you are inside city limits, you’ll need to contact your local police department and emergency services (911). If you are outside the city limits, you need to contact the county sheriff’s department or the Florida Highway Patrol.

Failure to Report An Accident - Repercussions For Major Collisions?

The repercussions differ depending on if you stop and render aid and fail to report, or if you fail to report and do not stop at all - one is treated a lot more severely than the other under Florida law.

1. If you stop and render aid, but fail to report the accident when death, injury, or property damage is involved, this is a non-moving violation that results in a traffic citation and a $30 fine. No points are added to your driving record unless the fine remains unpaid. However;

2. If you leave the scene of an accident and fail to report it, two offenses are committed. This is considered a hit-and-run, and you will be charged with both failing to report and the criminal penalties associated with a hit-and-run, which can be any of the following:

a. You can be charged with a third-degree felony for leaving the scene of the accident.

b. If someone suffered a serious injury, the charge against you can be upgraded to a second-degree felony.

c. If someone dies from the crash, you could be charged with a first-degree felony.

d. If you are intoxicated, and someone dies from the crash, this is a first-degree felony with a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 4 years.

e. Your driver’s license is automatically revoked after a hit-and-run conviction.

You may also be sentenced to pay a fine to the state and restitution to the individual injured in the crash, or their family if they pass away.

Accidents Involving Unattended Property

Now, if you hit a parked, unattended car, Florida law requires you to either locate the vehicle’s owner or leave a note on the damaged car with your contact information. If you are unable to locate the vehicle’s owner, you must report the accident to the nearest police station.

Failure to Report An Accident Involving An Unattended Vehicle - Repercussions?

3. If you leave the scene without notifying the owner or reporting the crash, you could be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor, similar to a hit-and-run incident. This can lead to a jail sentence of up to 60 days, a fine of up to $500, and 6 points added to your driving record.

Non-adherence to Florida’s Auto Insurance Law & Failure to Report An Accident

4. Florida law requires all vehicle owners to have personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability (PDL) coverage as part of their car insurance. If you don't have car insurance and get into an accident, you could face the following repercussions:
A non-moving traffic violation with a $30 fine, and automatic suspension of your driver's license and vehicle registration. If you knowingly present an insurance card with an expired policy, this can result in a jail sentence of up to 1 year.

Beyond The Ticket - Civil Repercussions of Failing to Report An Accident in Florida

5. Weakened Claims: Failure to report an accident can significantly weaken your ability to pursue a civil liability claim for damages. Without a police report, establishing fault to prove your case becomes much harder.

6. Insurance Headaches: Not reporting an accident can trigger disputes with your insurance company or even cause a denial of coverage, leaving you financially responsible for repairs and compensation to the other party.

Need Legal Assistance? Consult Frank Eidson Today!

If you've been in an accident and need legal assistance, please contact our experienced personal injury lawyers at Frank Eidson for a free case review. Our specialized expertise and unwavering dedication in car accident cases, auto injuries, and auto accident investigation ensures you can confidently navigate the road to recovery with a team of trusted legal professionals by your side.


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If you have been injured in an accident, turn to Frank M. Eidson P.A. Whether your case is a simple collision or a complicated auto wrongful death case, contact personal injury lawyer Frank Eidson today to schedule your free consultation.