Insight

What Should You Do if the Other Driver Doesn't Report the Accident?

Advice from a personal injury attorney on what to do when the other driver doesn't report the auto accident.

Woman in orange shirt standing by wrecked cars
Man with dark hair and blue suit

Sean Lopez

August 19, 2022 03:00 PM

Suppose you are involved in a car accident, and you suspect the other driver will not report it. Regardless of whether the driver left the scene of the accident, you should take the following steps:

  • Record the other driver's license tag number if you can;
  • Photograph the scene of the accident;
  • Attempt to obtain identification and insurance information from the other driver if they are still at the scene of the accident;
  • Call 911
  • If the driver has left the scene of the accident, report a hit-and-run accident; and
  • Answer questions from the police to help them track down the hit-and-run driver.

If you are injured, seek medical treatment as soon as possible, even if you have to skip some of the foregoing steps. Prompt medical attention will help you receive treatment and diagnosis for visible and hidden injuries. It will also provide you with evidence for your personal injury claim.

Florida Law on Reporting Car Accidents

If you are involved in a car accident that involves injury or property damage, Florida law requires you to remain at the scene of the accident until the police arrive. The Florida police will take information, survey the scene of the accident, and complete their own report.

Nevertheless, every driver involved in the accident must file their own accident report if the accident:

  • Caused injury or death;
  • Caused property damage exceeding $500;
  • Was a DUI accident; or
  • Was a hit-and-run accident.

Under Florida law, a driver must file a report even if they were the intoxicated driver or if they were the one who fled the scene of the accident.

How to File an Accident Report in Florida

If the police do not respond to your accident, you must file a written report with the Florida DMV within 10 days of the accident.

  • You will need to report the following information:
  • The place and time of the accident;
  • The names and addresses of every driver involved in the accident;
  • Drivers license information for all drivers involved in the accident;
  • The state and license tag number of every driver involved in the accident;
  • Insurance information about every driver involved in the accident;
  • The names and addresses of the owners of all vehicles involved in the accident; and
  • Diagrams and sketches that provide a visual representation of how the accident occurred.

If you do not know all of this information (because the other driver refused to cooperate, for example), report as much information as you know.

Reasons Why a Driver Might Not Report an Accident

There are many reasons why a driver might not report an accident, including the following:

  • They did not realize that they had an obligation to report the accident;
  • They were intoxicated at the time of the accident;
  • They did not carry the mandatory minimum insurance that Florida law requires;
  • The accident caused serious injury or death, and they fear the consequences; or.
  • They have an outstanding arrest warrant against them.

If the driver was from out of state, remember that almost all states have joined the Driver License Compact.

How to Handle a Hit-and-Run Accident If You Cannot Locate the Driver

If you suffer an injury in a hit-and-run accident, you might not have any problem paying your medical expenses, even if you never find the at-fault driver. The reason for this is that Florida is a no-fault auto insurance state. Florida requires every driver to purchase PIP insurance to cover their own medical expenses, regardless of fault.

If you suffered an injury in a hit-and-run accident that was not your fault, your PIP insurance will treat your claim the same way it would if an uninsured motorist injured you. Florida PIP insurance will pay 80% of your medical expenses and lost earnings up to a maximum of $10,000.

What if My Damages Exceed PIP?

A problem might arise if your injuries are catastrophic, or if your vehicle suffers damage. Basic PIP insurance will not cover medical expenses over $10,000, and it will not cover damage to your vehicle. Uninsured motorist insurance will cover damage to your automobile, medical expenses, and even pain and suffering, but it is not mandatory in Florida. It is a good idea to purchase uninsured motorist insurance even if no law requires you to.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer if You Need Help Filing Your Injury Claim

If your accident was serious enough to report, it is likely serious enough to warrant an injury claim. Contact a car accident lawyer to learn more about your rights and options for recovering compensation for your damages after the accident. Most lawyers offer free consultations and work on contingency, meaning there is no financial risk to getting the help you need.

Sean Lopez is the founder of Lopez Law Group Accident Injury Attorneys, a personal injury law firm based in St. Petersburg, FL. They have more than 25 years of combined experience and had recovered millions of dollars on behalf of accident victims. Contact them for a more information and a free case review.

Headline Image: iStock/ Smederevac

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