You can generally get a copy of a car accident report in Florida by requesting it from the records division of the law enforcement agency that filed it. The process to get this report varies by agency. Some offer instant downloads online, while others require you to appear in person or send your request by mail.
You will need to have some information on hand to locate the correct report. This may include:
- The case number;
- The date and time of the accident;
- The location of the crash; and
- The name of one or more of the drivers involved.
You do not need all this information, but having most of it will help speed the process of locating and getting a copy of your report. This is especially true if you do not have the case number.
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What Is the First Step to Obtaining My Car Accident Report?
To learn how to get a car accident report, you first need to know who filed it. For example, the City of Fort Lauderdale does not have access to reports from the Broward Sheriff’s Office, or vice versa. You need to know which agency responded to your accident or which department you called to file the report.
Many police officers give business cards or other documents to help you remember who to contact for a copy of your accident report before they leave the scene of a crash. Your case number may also be on this card.
If your crash occurred on an interstate or state highway, the Florida Highway Patrol may have jurisdiction. You can request a copy online.
Who Can Request a Report in Florida?
Accident reports are not part of the public record until 60 days after a crash. If you need a copy of the report during this period, you will need to complete an affidavit that specifies you were in the crash. This affidavit should be available at any police department, sheriff’s office, or other location where you need to pick up your report. You can also complete it online from the Florida Highway Patrol website.
Are Accident Reports Always Required After a Car Crash?
Almost all car accidents in Florida require filing an accident report. Under state law, you must legally report the crash if there are any injuries, including any report of discomfort from anyone involved. You also need to file a report in other circumstances, like if a driver fled the scene or was drunk at the time of the crash. If your wreck involved a commercial truck or damaged a vehicle so badly it required a tow truck, you must also file a report.
Even though some minor crashes do not require reports by law, we recommend filing one after any crash, in case you later discover an injury or property damage. You need an accident report to file an insurance claim.
If you called the police and officers responded to the scene of your crash, they already filed an accident report for you. If they did not, you have 10 days from the date of the accident to file this report.
Often, you can do this online through the Florida Highway Patrol website. You can complete a questionnaire that helps you fill out the report accurately. In other cases, you will need to contact the local police or sheriff’s department with jurisdiction over the location where your accident happened.
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How Can I Talk to an Attorney About My Claim?
If the attorneys at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine handle your claim, we can help you get a car accident report in Florida. This report plays an important role in your case, no matter if we file a claim based on your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage or pursue other compensation to cover serious injuries.
If you have any questions or concerns about getting the money you need to pay for your medical care after a crash, we offer free case evaluations and consultations. Call us at 800-747-3733 to learn more.