More than 200,000 car accidents occur each year in Florida. You probably know someone who has been in a car accident or you’ve been involved in one yourself. This type of incident is traumatic and things can get hectic immediately at the scene of the collision. Who was at fault? Who wasn’t paying attention or had moved their car into the wrong place? Things can quickly devolve into one driver’s word vs another in this tense situation. This is why a car accident police report is so important, especially if you plan on filing a personal injury claim in Florida.

In the unfortunate event that you have ever had a car accident, then you are aware of the importance of obtaining a police report. For a skilled Florida car accident lawyer, the police report will be used in strengthening your case against the insurance company.

A Floridian involved in a motorcycle accident fills out their injury claim form.

The Cliff Notes: Key Takeaways From This Post

  • 1
    Florida drivers have certain responsibilities following a car accident, including offering assistance to anyone who may be injured and exchanging information with the other driver.
  • 2
    Drivers can file a police report either at the scene of the accident or at the nearest police station. Include in the report names of drivers and insurance info, location, time and date of accident, damages caused, injuries suffered, statements from drivers and witnesses, as well as details about road conditions.
  • 3
    Police reports can be used as testimony in court and can provide credibility to an individual’s claims.
  • 4
    Even if you don’t have a police report on hand for your car accident, evidence such as photos/videos taken at the scene, surveillance camera footage and medical records can be presented to your insurer when filing an insurance claim.
  • 5
    If you believe that the police report has incorrectly named you as at-fault for an accident, contact a lawyer who can investigate and prove what really happened.

Why a Police Report Should Be Filed ASAP After a Car Accident in Florida

You will have a stronger case if you have more evidence supporting your claim that the other driver was at fault in an auto accident lawsuit. Police reports filed by officers at the scene of the accident are critical pieces of evidence. Under Florida law, if you are the driver of a vehicle involved in an auto accident, you have certain responsibilities.

It is a driver’s responsibility to remain at the scene of the accident, provide assistance to anyone who may be injured, and exchange information with the driver of the other car. When the following situations apply, the local police or Florida Highway Patrol should be contacted as soon as possible:

  • A death or injury occurs in the accident;
  • The at fault party commits a hit-and-run;
  • A drunk driver was involved in the accident; or
  • Estimated damages from the car accident exceed $500.

How Is A Police Report Filed?

You have the right to file a police report on your own if the police do not arrive at the scene. Gather all the evidence in your possession before filing a report. This might include photos, videos, and any details about the accident. Specifically, the date, time, and location of the motor vehicle accident. The more information you can gather about the other person or people involved in the accident, the better. You can file an accident report at the nearest police station.

Note for readers: The police report is really important, but how about the ticket that was issued at the scene of the accident? If you have a moment, you should learn more about how police ticket(s) can impact injury claims after a car accident in Florida.

A Floridian involved in a motorcycle accident fills out their injury claim form.

Can a Personal Injury Attorney Help You Obtain a Police Report in Florida?

A copy of the police report can be obtained from the local precinct if the police responded to your accident but you have not yet received it. Similarly, if you lost your police report, you can get a new copy. A lawyer can assist you with obtaining a copy of the police report if you don’t know whether one exists (for example, if you were transported from the scene with serious or life-threatening injuries). Considering the first responders were present at the scene, you should have access to a police report.

How Police Reports Affect Personal Injury Claims in Florida

Police reports hold merit. In addition to adding credibility to the plaintiff’s claims, police reports provide an additional source of evidence. According to police reports, car accidents are objectively evaluated. He or she collects witness testimony and draws a diagram of the incident scene and describes the car accident in detail. Also included is a personal statement about the car accident and the observations the officer made.

Police reports give the jury a picture of what happened, regardless of whether the plaintiff or defendant saw the accident that way. In a police report, a picture of the scene of the accident is provided, avoiding the need to compare plaintiffs’ and defendants’ versions of the events. According to the law, police reports are inadmissible in court, which is why filing a claim without one is one of the most important reasons. In other words, it is not a complete account but can be used as testimony.