reporting an Orlando motor vehicle accidentIf you’ve been in an auto accident in Orlando or anywhere else in Orange County, Florida, you should absolutely report your accident to the authorities. In this article, we’ll talk about how to do that and why you should.

How Do I Report a Crash in Orlando?

After a car crash in Orlando, Florida, you have a few options. First, you can call 911 to contact emergency authorities. Second, you could call the Florida Highway Patrol to report the accident. Both of these options will get authorities out to the accident scene to help you. However, if anyone is injured or if anyone may be injured, you should dial 911 immediately. Safety is the most important thing after a crash.

If it’s an Emergency, Dial 911!

Infographic showing three ways to report a traffic crash in Orlando, FloridaIf there is an emergency, dial 911 immediately. This will get emergency personnel to the scene as soon as possible, and this is what the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles recommends.

If You Want to Report a Motor Vehicle Accident, Call Florida Highway Patrol

If you have been in a traffic crash and you need to report it, you should reach out to the Florida Highway Patrol. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office in Orlando, FL instructs folks to contact the Florida Highway Patrol at (407) 737-2200 to report a traffic crash. The FLHSMV says to dial *FHP / (*347) from your mobile phone.

Do I Need to Report a Car Accident in Orlando?

In some cases, yes. Under the Florida law for crash reports, the driver of a vehicle must report a crash immediately if the crash involves the following:

If a crash doesn’t meet any of the criteria listed above, a driver may be eligible to self-report the crash instead of calling law enforcement to complete go to the scene and complete a report.

How Do You Self Report a Traffic Crash in Orlando?

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles provides that drivers in minor crashes may be able to self-report a motor vehicle collision. This option should be reserved for the least severe types of crashes.

You can self-report a crash online. Alternatively, you can fill out the form on the FLHSMV’s website and mail it to the following address:

  • Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles 
  • Crash Records 
  • 2900 Apalachee Parkway, MS 28
  • Tallahassee, FL

Remember to always keep a copy of any report you mail in. You’ll need this in case something gets lost in the mail, but you’ll also need it for any insurance claims.

How Long Do You Have to Report an Accident in Orlando?

According to Florida Statute Section 316.066, the report must be submitted within 10 days. If law enforcement completed the report, they must submit it to the department within 10 days after completing the investigation. If you self-reported the crash, you must your report of the crash within 10 days as well.

What Happens if I Don’t Report My Auto Accident?

If you don’t report an auto accident, it could cause you problems down the road. For example, you may not be able to get your insurance company to pay for property damage repairs. Also, if you choose to pursue a personal injury claim, the insurance company will be much more difficult to work with if you don’t have a police report. In other words, you’ll have difficulty getting the insurance company to pay for anything if you don’t get a report.

How Do You Get a Copy of a Police Report for an Orlando Car Accident?

If you’re wondering how to get a police report for an accident or how you can look up an accident report, Florida makes it very easy. You can go to the FLHSMV’s website and purchase your crash report.

To do so, you will need to select an option that describes you. Most likely, you’ll want to choose “Parties involved in the crash.” There’s another section below that titled “Driver Privacy Protection Act.” However, if you’re requesting for yourself, the portal should allow you to proceed without selecting one of those options. Finally, you’ll need to enter the “Proof of Eligibility,” which includes:

  • State that issued your driver’s license; and
  • Your driver’s license/ID card number.

This will take you to the next section where you can look up the crash report based on:

  • The report number (if you have it);
  • The VIN number of the vehicle; or
  • Your last name.

The most basic way (and probably easiest way) is to look up the report by last name. This will take you to the next screen for “Crash Report Search.” Here, you’ll enter the following information:

  • Your last name (or the last name of the driver as it would be listed in the crash report);
  • The date of the crash (you can opt for plus/minus 3 days if you’re not sure of the exact date); and
  • The county where the crash occurred and where the report would have been made.

Once you do this, it’ll take you to another screen where you can select your crash report. Then, you can select “Add to Cart,” and then you’ll be taken to another screen where you can select “View Cart.” Finally, you can enter your email address, if prompted for it, and pay for the report.

Are Car Accidents Public Record in Florida?

Crash reports cannot be disclosed to the public for a period of 60 days after the date when the report is filed. In other words, crash reports remain confidential for 60 days. After that 60-day period, crash reports may be made available to anyone seeking the report for a permissible use, as listed in 18 U.S.C. 2721.