Motor vehicle accidents can be overwhelming, but knowing the proper procedures can make a significant difference in navigating the aftermath of a car crash. In Florida, the process of filing a motorist accident report is governed by specific regulations outlined in Section 316.066 of the Florida Statutes. To ensure you understand the nuances involved with filing a motorist accident report in Florida, you should work with an experienced injury lawyer, like the ones at Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers.
Seek Appropriate Medical Attention
The most important priority after an accident should be your health. If you require immediate medical care, you should seek emergency medical attention as soon as possible. If your injuries are not emergent, you should call Brian and his staff to ensure that you are seeking assistance from a healthcare professional who understands the personal injury claim process. The professional staff at Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers have relationships with high-quality healthcare professionals who are experienced with documenting and treating your injuries while also establishing a causal relationship between your injuries and the underlying accident.
Filing the Right Form:
After you have sought appropriate medical attention, the next step will be to obtain the appropriate motorist accident report form.
1. Long Form vs. Short Form
Florida law requires that a motorist accident report must be filed under certain circumstances. You must be aware of these situations to ensure compliance with governing law. Certain accidents require the submission of a long-form crash report, while other accidents only require the submission of a short-form report. Law enforcement is generally responsible for filing the appropriate form related to your accident.
2. When is a Long Form Required?
A long-form traffic crash report must be submitted when an accident involves: 1) death, personal injury, or complaints of pain or discomfort; 2) violation of specified statutes, like leaving the scene or driving under the influence; 3) a wrecker is necessary to remove a vehicle from the accident site; or 4) a commercial vehicle is involved in the accident.
3. Long Form Requirements
The long-form traffic crash report must be completed within ten days after law enforcement completes the accident investigation. The long form will include detailed information about the accident’s date, time, and location, descriptions of the vehicles involved in the accident, and the names and addresses of parties involved in the car crash. This information can be incredibly important for you and your injury lawyer as you begin the accident claim process or, if necessary, as you initiate a lawsuit to pursue a legal remedy.
4. When is a Short Form Required?
For all other accidents that do not require the completion of a long-form, law enforcement may complete a short-form crash report or provide an exchange of information form to drivers and passengers involved in the crash.
5. Short Form Requirements
Short-form accident reports also include essential details about the accident, like the date, time, and location of the crash, vehicle descriptions, names and addresses of involved parties, and law enforcement information.
Self-Reporting an Accident
If, for some reason, law enforcement neglects to file an accident report form, there are ways to self-report an accident, either online or through the mail. For online self-reporting, you should visit the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (“FLHSMV”) website to download and complete the Driver Report of a Traffic Crash Form. Once you thoroughly complete and sign the form, you can email the completed form to [email protected].
To report an accident via regular mail, you can download and print the Driver Report of a Traffic Crash form from the FLHSMV website. Once you complete and print the form, you can mail a copy of the form to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Crash Records, 2900 Apalachee Parkway, MS 28, Tallahassee, FL 32399.
Were you or a loved one injured in an accident?
The law offices of Brian D. Guralnick help Florida residents and tourists seek compensation and Demand More? for their injuries.
If you work with the team at Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers, our professional staff will assist you with properly self-reporting an accident. If you self-report an accident, make sure to keep a copy of the report for your records.
Public Records and Confidentiality
Both long-form and short-form crash reports are considered confidential and exempt from public disclosure for 60 days. However, specific entities, like law enforcement, licensed insurance agents, or the parties involved in the crash, are able to obtain the accident reports during this 60-day period.
Accident reports can be purchased through the FLHSMV Crash Portal for a $10.00 fee per report. Once you purchase a copy of a crash report, the report will be available for download immediately but must be downloaded within 48 hours.
Understanding the intricacies of obtaining crash reports and properly reporting accidents is important for all Floridians. If you or a loved one has been involved in an automobile accident, make sure you adhere to these guidelines to streamline the crash reporting process. If you have any questions or require legal assistance related to a car crash, don’t hesitate to contact the office of Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers for personalized guidance and support. We have helped thousands of victims recover physically, emotionally, and financially from the devastating impacts of an accident. Call us today to find out why you deserve to Demand More!