There are certain laws Florida drivers are obligated to abide by following the occurrence of an automobile accident. Among those that drivers are required to obey, one very important one we are addressing below explains when drivers must report an accident to the proper authorities. If you weren’t aware, the state of FL has set criteria for when an accident must be reported.
According to Florida Statute 316.065, a driver who has been involved in a car accident that has resulted in one or more of the following “shall immediately by the quickest means of communication give notice of the crash to the local police department.”
- Someone suffered an injury in the wreck.
- The accident resulted in a death.
- There is at least $500 worth of damage.
In the event the accident occurred on a highway or another roadway and you’re uncertain as to which police department has jurisdiction over the stretch of road your accident occurred on, you can report it to the Florida Highway Patrol. This means if you live in West Palm Beach or a neighboring city, you are required to obey this law otherwise you risk being recognized for violating it, which is noncriminal traffic infraction that is punishable as a nonmoving violation.
Now, if the accident you were involved in did notwarrant a call to police, although most do as it is always recommended you have an officer come out and write up a report, you are still required to submit a written report to the West Palm Beach Police Department. The Driver Report of Traffic Crash form must be submitted within 10 days from the date of the crash and can be completed and submitted online by clicking here.
Should I hire an accident attorney if the collision was minor?
Regardless of whether your auto accident was minor or severe, you are always encouraged to not only contact police after the accident but also call an attorney. You see, accident victims have several rights, many of which they are unaware of especially after engaging in something as traumatic as a car crash. And without you knowing what your rights are, you not only risk accepting a settlement from the insurer for an amount that is far lower than what you are entitled to, but you could be losing out on other compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and even for the depreciation value of your vehicle.
The truth is, if the other driver was responsible for causing your accident, their insurance company isn’t going to tell you how to get the actual amount of money you are due. Unfortunately, they aren’t looking to put your best interest first, even though you are the victim, and they would prefer to pay you less than what your crash entitles you to receive. With that said, although you may not need an accident lawyer to help you take your case to court, you do need one who can provide you with some advice and guidance so that you are able to recover the money you are actually due.
So, if you or a loved one was recently involved in a car accident and would like to speak with an accident lawyer in West Palm Beach, FL who is willing to explain your rights and help you recoup the compensation you deserve, contact the lawyers at Smith & Vanture. With over 50 years of combined experience, the attorneys at this firm know a thing or two about helping car crash victims like yourself. Not only will they give your case the attention that it requires, but they will take on the burden of dealing with noncompliant insurance companies as well as other parties involved so that you don’t have to.
Smith & Vanture is located at:
580 Village Blvd., Suite 200
West Palm Beach, FL 33409