Obtaining a Crash Report in Florida
Following an accident, you should call the police so that an officer can swing by the scene and write up a crash report. This report will contain critical pieces of information that could prove vital for your claim. Car insurance companies want to see a crash report, and you can order a copy conveniently if you follow the directions below.
Understand Why Crash Reports Are Important
A crash report is an official record that a car accident happened. It should contain the following information at a minimum:
- The identities of those involved in the collision
- The time, date, and location of the collision
- The names of witnesses to the accident and what they saw
This report is a good starting point for doing further investigation into the accident. An insurance adjuster will scour the report for information to use, sometimes to your disadvantage. For example, the police officer might claim that your negligence caused the accident when you were actually driving carefully. Remember that the crash report is not the final word on the accident, and you can present other information about who is at fault.
Wait Until the Report Is Available
Crash reports are not immediately available. Instead, it can take 10 days for them to be made accessible to the public.
Visit the Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles Website (FLHSMV)
This department maintains all crash reports for the state. You can purchase a crash report online at the online portal. You must pay $10.00 per report and can purchase a maximum of 10 reports each transaction. There is a convenience fee of $2.00 applied to each transaction. You can purchase your reports using Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express.
After purchasing the report, you gain immediate access to it. You have 48 hours to download the report.
Purchase Reports In Person or By Mail
If you don’t want to order online, you can do so in person or by mail. If it has been 60 days or fewer since the accident, you should complete a copy of the Sworn Statement to Obtain Crash Report. This statement serves as proof that you are entitled to receive a copy of the report because, for example, you were a motorist who was involved in it.
You can get a copy in person at the FHP Troop Station that is closest to where the crash occurred. This might not be the Troop Station that is nearest to your home.
To order by mail, you should send a letter detailing what crash reports you want, along with the Sworn Statement if it is within 60 days of the accident. Mail your request to:
- Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Crash Records, 2900 Apalachee Parkway, MS 28, Tallahassee, FL 32399.
You can use a money order or personal check to purchase the crash reports. Make them payable to “FLHSMV” and wait 4-6 weeks for processing.
In a Car Accident? Earnhart Law Can Help