How to File a Car Accident Report in Brooksville
If you were involved in a collision in Brooksville or any of the surrounding areas of Florida, it is natural to be confused about what steps you should take in the immediate aftermath. One common question that accident victims ask themselves is: “Do I need to file an accident report?”
To protect yourself and any personal injury or property damage claim that you might need to file, the answer should be yes. So, the question becomes: “How do I file an accident report?”
Florida Statute § 316.066(1)(a) requires a Florida Traffic Crash Report, Long Form to be completed and submitted to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) within 10 days of an investigation completed by a law enforcement officer relating to a motor vehicle accident that resulted in death or personal injury, crashes involving damage to property, a driving under the influence (DUI) offense, a crash rendering a vehicle inoperable such that a wrecker is required to remove it, or an accident involving a commercial motor vehicle.
Police officers typically handle filing accident reports with the FLHSMV, but individuals will have to file reports themselves within 10 days if law enforcement did not conduct an investigation. It is crucial to make sure an accident report is filed, even when a collision seems to result in only minor damage. You might opt not to file a report for a single-vehicle accident that does not involve other people or property, but it is generally recommended to contact police in all other cases.
When Do I Need to Report a Car Accident to the Police?
The duties of drivers involved in motor vehicle accidents are outlined in Florida Statute § 316.062. Under Florida Statute § 316.062(1), the driver of any vehicle involved in a crash resulting in injury to or death of any person or damage to any vehicle or other property must give their license or permit to drive to any police officer at the scene of the crash or who is investigating the crash.
Florida Statute § 316.062(2) establishes that when no police officer is present, the person involved must report the crash to the nearest office of a duly authorized police authority and submit the information specified in Florida Statute § 316.062(1). Law enforcement agencies are not always quick to respond to every accident, but you need to be patient and still file a report with an agency if no officer ever arrives at the scene of your crash.
How Do I Report a Car Accident in Brooksville?
After an accident in Brooksville, you should contact the local law enforcement agency to file a report. The Brooksville Police Department handles traffic crash reports for most accidents within city limits, and the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office could also be involved in some cases.
It will be 60 days before the accident report becomes public record. The agency that handles the report will dictate how easy it is for you to obtain the report. Some agencies allow you to download reports instantly while others may require personal appearances or documents sent by mail.
What Information Do I Need to File a Police Report?
Florida Statute § 316.066(1)(b) provides that the Florida Traffic Crash Report, Long Form must include:
- The date, time, and location of the crash
- Descriptions of the vehicles involved
- Names and addresses of all parties involved
- Names and addresses of witnesses
- Name, badge number, and law enforcement agency of the officer investigating the crash
- Names of insurance companies for parties involved in the crash
Additional information about passengers should also include which vehicles the passengers were riding in and where they were seated within the vehicles. While you are at the scene of the accident, it can also be very advantageous for you to try to take as many pictures as you can of everything involved in the scene of your crash.
Why Should I File a Police Report?
The first reason to file a police report is because failure to do so is a noncriminal traffic violation punishable by possible community service. In cases of failure to report more severe crashes, a person could be charged with leaving the scene of an accident, which is a second-degree misdemeanor when a collision results in only property damage, a third-degree felony when a crash results in injury, and a second-degree felony if the accident results in death.
If you were injured in the accident, you need to be sure a report is filed, since this will be important documentation for your injury claim. The police report can provide important information in personal injury actions.
How Our Car Accident Attorneys in Brooksville Can Help
As soon as you contact Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, we will immediately launch an independent investigation into your crash. We will not only determine the cause of your accident, but we will also preserve every last bit of important evidence before it disappears.
Our firm can work with accident reconstruction specialists when necessary to get answers to some of the most complicated cases. Holliday Karatinos Law Firm can handle all phone calls from the insurance companies on your behalf, so you do not have to risk saying anything that jeopardizes your case.
Representatives from insurers will frequently contact people soon after accidents in Brooksville to try and quickly close the cases through lump sum settlements. Know that most initial offers are for far less than what victims are entitled to recover. Holliday Karatinos Law Firm will aggressively work to pursue a settlement that covers all of your past, present, and future needs.
Contact an Experienced Brooksville Car Accident Attorney
The trial attorneys of Holliday Karatinos Law Firm represent people who’ve been hurt in car accidents in Brooksville. We fight to protect you, your family, and our community as a whole from recklessness and negligence. We won’t rest until we get you justice.
We have more than a half-century of combined legal experience and recovered $95 million for our clients between 2006 and 2017. You can have our lawyers review your case and discuss all of your legal options when you call us or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.