Ensure a Car Accident Report Is Properly Filed

When someone is involved in a car wreck, they often assume that they can just call the police and everything will be taken care of. But what happens if you decide not to involve the police, or if they simply cannot, or do not, come to the scene of your accident? You should still file a report, even if the damages are minimal or if no injuries were sustained. After all, injuries are not always noticeable at the time of the incident. You also don’t want the other driver to be the only one to report the incident because, more often than not, the “facts” will be skewed in their favor.


  1. Get a witness. One of the most important things you can do after an auto accident is to get a witness’ contact information. Drivers can have very different perspective on what actually happened. If a witness is willing, get their name and number in case a dispute arises in the future.
  2. Take down the other driver’s information. This includes their name, phone number, driver’s license information, car details, registration, and insurance information. You are required to present this information to the other driver as well.
  3. Take down the accident details. Make a diagram of the incident and how you believe it occurred. If you have a camera (even on a cell phone) take photos of the accident scene and the damage to the vehicles.
  4. Call the police. You should still call the police, even if the incident occurred hours before or if you do not require assistance. It is good to cover all bases and show that you notified the proper authorities.
  5. File a police report. You can do this by entering the nearest police station and filing a walk-in report, or you can also file a report by printing out the accident report form from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
  6. Call your insurance company. You need to notify your insurance company of the incident and inform them of the steps you have taken and the information you have collected.


  • If you happen to strike an unoccupied vehicle, such as in a parking lot, you are required to notify the owner. If you cannot find the owner, be sure to attach a note to the damaged vehicle which contains your name, address, and license plate number. Also, be sure to report the accident to law enforcement immediately. If you do not report the incident or leave the scene without attempting to notify the owner, you could face penalties such as criminal charges or license revocation.


  • An accident report needs to be filed if there is injury or death, or if the property damage sustained is at least $500. Even if the police come and take a report at the scene, you need to ensure that it is properly filed, and file one yourself if it wasn’t. If an officer completes a report, you shouldn’t need to file a crash report. But if a crash report hasn’t been filed by law enforcement, then you’ll need to file one within 10 days of the accident.