Never Leave the Scene of an Accident in Florida

Looking at the title of this blog it would seem that it is about car accidents. However, as accident attorneys in South Florida we understand that this also applies to other sorts of accidents like slip and falls. It is imperative to document the accident at the scene. This may be difficult because of the physical and emotional force of an impact. Nevertheless, it is imperative to remain at the scene and have the proper authorities document the accident. If it’s a car accident, then the proper authority is the police. If we are talking about a slip and fall, then ask for a manager or an employee to document the incident. If there is no one to document the incident and you are in need of assistance, the EMS (Emergency Medical Services) can document the location and the time of the incident. This will most likely not be as complete as a police report.

If for some reason you cannot reach the police or a manager at the scene of an accident, then it is important to try to take as many pictures as you can. If you cannot take pictures then ask a relative, friend, or a person in the vicinity to do so. Furthermore, take the names of any witnesses in the area that may help document the circumstances of the accident.

It is difficult for an attorney to show that something happened when there is no documentation or report detailing the accident. In some locations there may be video cameras that may record the incident. This is often the case in super markets and other commercial locations like restaurants and convenience stores. However, do not rely on this to establish or document that an accident took place. A camera may have an inadequate point or insufficient resolution. As slip and fall attorneys in Miami we have encountered these sort of problems with cameras. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that a tape of the incident will be accessible.

Another reason why one should stay at the scene of an accident is because it is a requirement under Florida law. Under Florida Statute 316.061 it is a misdemeanor to leave the scene of a car accident. Florida Statute 316.061 requires that;

1) you stop at the scene of the accident or as close to the scene of the accident as possible,
2) and do your best not to interrupt the flow of traffic.
If an accident involves injury or death then Florida Statute 316.062 also applies. Florida Statute 316.062 requires that;
1) Name, address, vehicle registration number, be provided to other party involved in accident and also any police officer at the scene. It also requires that you exhibit your driver license upon request and,
2) provide reasonable assistance to an injured party. This includes making arrangements to carry injured person to a hospital or physician if it is apparent that treatment is necessary, or if the injured party requests it.

It should be noted here that leaving the scene of an accident where a death or serious injury involves is a felony under Florida Statute 316.027.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call us. Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys are here to assist you 24/7. We can be reached at 305.764.9907 or 1.888.413.8353.