Car Accident Police Reports: Everything You Need To Know (2019)

Happy Crash Report Day everyone. For those of you who aren’t familiar with who I am, my name is Chris Waters and I am a Personal Injury and Civil Litigation attorney here at Pipas Law (St. Pete Office). Welcome to all you first-timers on our site and I hope I will have the opportunity to formally introduce myself to you one day.

In the following article I am addressing some of the more frequent questions and concerns that arise after a car accident pertaining to police reports and crash reports.

Continue reading (and listening) to learn more about:

  1. What a car accident police report actually is
  2. Where to get your police report after an accident
  3. What to do if there is no police report for your car accident
  4. Things you did not know (but should be aware) about crash reports

A Definitive Guide to Understanding Florida Car Accident Police Reports

A police report is generated by an investigating officer who responds to a request for assistance after a car accident. Other common terms for a police report that you may hear are “accident report” or “crash report.” These are used pretty interchangeably. 

The police report is a summary of information in regards to the motor vehicle accident and people involved. The police report will have a combination of facts related to the accident as well as the opinions of the investigating officer. The list of facts can include things such as vehicles involved, occupants and witnesses at the scene, and even insurance policies that may be in play for those vehicles involved.

Where To Get A Car Accident Police Report

The responding police officer should provide you and any drivers involved with a “Drivers Exchange of Information.” This sheet of paper lists every vehicle involved in the accident, the drivers, vehicle owners, passengers, and even (which is important for personal injury cases) the insurance company names and policy numbers. 

The police report (crash report) is usually a more cumbersome narrative of the accident and is usually filed with the state about a week after the accident. However, the main office of the police department should have a filed copy of the accident report within a few days of the accident. 

Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is the state’s official repository for crash records. They have a Florida Crash Portal which provides comprehensive information about accessing your crash report. 

However, the attorney you choose to handle your case should help you with all of this. Don’t feel like all of this is something you have to do on your own. 

What to do if in a Car Accident with No Police Report

There are many reasons why there may not be a police report for a car accident. Sometimes parties involved may decide to go separate ways before the police were called or had the chance to respond to the scene. If that’s the case, there may not be an official crash number or police report for you to access. 

However, one of the involved parties may choose to file a crash report with the police department (within 60 days of the accident) or allow their attorney and the insurance companies to do a liability investigation to allow them to make their own determination of who was at fault in an accident.

What You Didn’t Know About Crash Reports

While a crash report or a Driver Exchange of Information sheet might just look like a list of vehicles and parties involved in an accident, there is actually a little more to it.

Usually the driver and vehicle that is listed first is the officer’s determination of who is most likely at fault. It does not mean that information is set in stone- but it does get us a little more insight to who appears at fault.

So make sure you take a look at the order in which things are listed on your Driver Exchange of Information sheet or accident report.

I hope you find this information on police reports helpful. There is so much that happens at one time when you are involved in an accident and I understand how confusing some of this must be. If you have any questions about your accident, regarding police reports or any other matter, I want to encourage you to feel comfortable to give me a call or even shoot me a text.

I will be happy to help in any way that I can.

You can call the office at 727-888-3925.

OR call or text me directly at 727-580-2064.

If you like this article and video series, please drop a comment below or share it on social media! We love to hear your feedback!

Best Regards,
Chris Waters, ESQ

st. petersburg accident lawyer chris waters

FAQ About Police Reports

What is a car accident police report?

A police report is generated by an investigating officer who responds to a request for assistance after a car accident. Other common terms for a police report that you may hear are “accident report” or “crash report.” These are used pretty interchangeably. 

Where do I get my car accident police report?

Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is the state’s official repository for crash records. They have a Florida Crash Portal which provides comprehensive information about accessing your crash report. However, your attorney should help you obtain this information so you don’t have to.

What to do in a car accident with no police report?

One of the involved parties may choose to file a crash report with the police department (within 60 days of the accident) or allow their attorney and the insurance companies to do a liability investigation to allow them to make their own determination of who was at fault in an accident.

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