If you were in a car accident in Florida, chances are you or another party involved filed an accident report with the Florida Highway Patrol. Whether your injuries are serious or on the more mild side, it’s a good idea either way to keep a copy of your accident report.
These documents can help prove injury and may be needed to pursue compensation down the line. Accident reports include important information pertinent to your case and details you may not specifically remember otherwise.
When To File an Accident Report
Section 316.065 of Florida Statutes states that all accidents that include the following must be reported to authorities as soon as possible:
- A crash with any injuries
- A crash that has resulted in a fatality
- A hit and run
- A DUI crash
- An accident that requires a wrecker to remove one or more vehicles
- A crash with a commercial vehicle
- A crash where apparent damage is at least $500
- Drivers involved in minor collisions may be able to self-report a crash
We do recommend that all car accidents be reported, whether the accident was severe or not. Having an accident report can help your personal injury and/or property damage case in the long run.
How To File an Accident Report in Florida
At the scene of the accident, once it is safe to do so, you can call 911 to report the accident. Depending on the severity, a police officer may arrive at the scene and conduct a full report.
If the accident is less severe, you do have the option to file a report online through the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website. Additionally, they do list the option to report by mail.
How To Obtain an Existing Accident Report
Once submitted, an accident report can take up to 10 days to become available according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
To access your accident report, you can visit Florida’s Official Crash Portal. It’s important to note that there are fees associated with obtaining official Florida law enforcement agency crash reports. We urge you to speak with an attorney before going down this road. Any fees associated with accessing the accident report should be considered regarding your compensation.
How To Read an Accident Report
An accident report will include various details surrounding the accident. We put together a list below to give you an idea:
- Basic information – Driver names, vehicle specs, license plates, accident location, officer information, and accident report number.
- Accident details – road and weather conditions, points of impact, directions vehicles were going, accident causes, witness reports, etc.
- Emergency Services, if needed – hospital names and locations, ambulance services
- Property Damages – Estimated damage to vehicles involved including costs
In addition to the information above, a description of how the accident occurred will be included with details such as debris or skid marks on the road. Photos are also helpful.
Reading an accident report is fairly straightforward, however, it always helps to have a professional on your side. If you would like help with your car accident case from one of our attorneys, please reach out today.