Remember when you were young, and the only people who truly needed to know what trouble you got into were your parents?  Even then, you probably played it cool once in a while in an effort to conceal some of your real mischief.

Now that you are an adult, you have a few more legal hoops to jump through when you find yourself in a pickle; namely, when you have been in a car accident. Florida law requires that if you are involved in a wreck that causes more than $500 in property damage or if any person involved suffers injury, you must report the accident to your local police department, sheriff’s office, or Highway Patrol.

That sounds fair enough. Where many people go a bit rogue is when the accident is a very minor one. Maybe you and another car clip bumpers in a parking lot. You and the other driver get out, size up the damage, and the person responsible for the incident ponies up $250 cash to call it a day and leave the insurance companies out of the picture. That sounds good too, right? Your insurance rates stay low, and you do not have to worry about the accident again.


Let’s say that it was the other driver that gave you the $250 to fix your bumper. You take it to “your guy,” the shop you trust that you know can offer you a great labor rate. You find out that the damage was more extensive than you thought. What do you do now? If you need to involve your insurance company, the odds are you will not get as much help from them as you hoped. Insurance companies take unreported accidents pretty seriously.

A good rule of thumb is that if your accident involved any other person, another person’s vehicle, or another person’s property, you need to report it to your insurance company to protect yourself from claim disputes. If you back your own car into your own mailbox, though, you can just keep that to yourself—your property, your car, your embarrassing story for your shop guy!

Do you have more questions about reporting your accident to your insurance company? Click on the live chat link on this page to connect with my firm today—we look forward to helping you!


Damian Mallard, Esq.
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Board Certified Sarasota Personal Injury Attorney
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