How to read my Florida car accident report
Being involved in a car wreck can be a frustrating and overwhelming situation. With the right legal representation, the complexities of your case can be sorted out. This often requires key evidence that can be used to support your claim.
One piece of key evidence is the crash report documented by the law enforcement agency that investigates your crash. After a crash occurs, you must contact the police and wait for them to arrive. Once they arrive, they will begin auditing the crash scene and documenting critical details that can indicate how the crash occurred.
What will I find on my accident report?
Your Florida car accident report will contain four pages:
Page one of your car accident report will include the following:
- Essential details such as the date, time and location of your crash.
- Driver details such as license plate numbers, vehicle identification numbers and insurance companies.
- Details pertaining to the crash such as vehicle damage, the posted speed limit, reported injuries, and alcohol and drug test results.
Click here for a visual reference to page one.
Page two will include the following:
- Contributing causes such as:
- The cause of the crash
- Contributing factors in the crash (distracted driving, drunk driving, speeding, etc.)
- Subsequent harmful events (another driver or pedestrian was hit as a result of the crash)
- Vehicle defects
- Weather and road conditions
- Visual obstructions
Click here for a visual reference to page two.
Page three will include the following:
- Crash report narrative: An investigating officer will provide a written narrative about how he or she believed the crash occurred. This will also include:
- Any arrests that were made or citations issued
- Names and contact information of up to six passengers
- Names and contact information of two witnesses
Click here for a visual reference to page three.
Page four will include the diagram and pictorial account on how your crash occurred. The details of a crash may not always be clear in writing. A diagram offers a visual account on how it occurred and who was at fault.
Click here for a visual reference to page four.
How can I obtain my car accident report?
You may obtain your Florida car accident report online at the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website for a fee of $10 per report and a convenience fee of $2. Once you purchase the report, it will become immediately available online and must be downloaded within 48 hours.
You may also obtain your crash report:
- In person at the FHP Troop Station nearest where your crash occurred.
- By mail with a written statement and payment (check or money order made out to FLHSMV) to:
Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
2900 Apalachee Parkway, MS 28
Tallahassee, FL 32399
It can take about 4-6 weeks to receive your crash report by mail.
How can an attorney help me with my claim?
An in-depth investigation must be conducted by an experienced car accident attorney. Your car accident report is only one key piece of evidence. Your attorney will also:
- Get a subpoena for cellphone records
- Check social media posts
- Obtain video footage from surveillance cameras and dash cams (if available)
- Speak to witnesses
- Hire a crash reconstruction expert to investigate the crash scene
- Obtain documentation from your medical evaluation
- Obtain your medical records
Contact a West Palm Beach attorney at David J. Glatthorn, P.A. for help with your car accident case. Attorney Glatthorn has more than 25 years of experience helping his clients recover every dollar owed to them in damages. He offers free and confidential case reviews to his clients.