A crash report is a summary of important information about a car accident that has occurred. The document is usually filled out by the investigating law enforcement officers who responded to the 911 call and was first at the scene. The traffic crash report is then sent to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV) in Florida.
Vehicle accidents can completely change the lives of those involved. This is why you should contact a personal injury lawyer today at The Law Place. Call us at (941) 444-4444 for a free consultation with an experienced attorney.
Do I Need to File a Crash Report?
Florida Statute 316.066 states that you must stay at the scene if you were involved in a traffic crash, and call 911 to report it if:
- The crash resulted in death or injury.
- There was a hit and run involved with the crash.
- One of the drivers involved was under the influence at the time.
- The crash resulted in property damage worth over $500.
However, if you were only involved in a minor crash that didn’t require police assistance, then you can fill in an accident report online or post one by mail yourself instead. You can do this using the Florida Highway Patrol website.
What Do Crash Reports Include?
For any crash, you must also file a car crash report with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within ten days of the accident.
All Florida crash reports must include specific details that accurately explain the crash as well as the details of everyone involved. Crash reports are particularly useful in court, as they offer a reliable account of what occurred. The type of information that is often included in these reports is listed below:
- Location, date, and time of the accident.
- Personal information and contact details of everyone involved in the accident and any witnesses.
- Statements from the parties involved and witnesses.
- Description of any damage that was sustained to the vehicles involved during the accident.
- Opinions of the investigating officers.
How Can You Request a Crash Report in Florida?
Crash reports and crash records can all be accessed by the public in Florida, although they are not a part of public record until after 60 days after the crash. However, if you require a copy of the report before this time period is over, then you can complete an affidavit, which may allow you earlier access to it if you were one of the parties involved in the crash. You can fill in the affidavit online, at the Florida Highway Patrol website, or, if necessary, you can pick up a form to complete at any police department, sheriff’s office, or similar location.
The most common way of accessing a copy of any of the crash reports in Florida is by requesting it from the records division of the law enforcement agency that uploaded it to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles in Florida. The process to then get the crash report can vary depending on each agency. Some can offer instant downloads, while others send your request by mail or require you to appear in person.
Before having left the accident scene, the police officer would have likely handed you a receipt with the identification number of the police report. If this is the case for you then, you’ll be able to call the traffic division of the law enforcement agency, pay the administrative fee, which is usually around $10 to $15, and then obtain the copy.
If you don’t have the identification report, then you should still be able to obtain it if you can provide the agency with some of the following information:
- Date and time of the accident.
- Location of the accident.
- Your name and/or the name of at least one of the drivers involved.
It is, however, possible in some cases to acquire crash reports for free. You can ask the claims representative of your insurance company if they have requested the report. If they have, then you can ask the representative for a copy. The insurance company may not necessarily have the car accident report, but it is always a good idea to check first as it could save you time and money.
The Law Place
If you have been involved in a car crash, then you may deserve compensation. Contact The Law Place today, on (941) 444-4444, for free legal advice as well as help in obtaining crash reports.