What to Know About Car Accident Reports in Fort Lauderdale, FL

When you are injured in a Fort Lauderdale car accident due to another driver’s negligence or reckless behavior, having the proper evidence to support your injury claim is crucial. That includes the car accident report. A car accident report is necessary in any Florida car accident case.

If you are involved in a Florida car accident, you should report the accident to the police. In fact, the law requires you to report your accident if it causes injury, death, or more than $500 of property damage. When officers arrive at the scene, they will collect statements from all parties involved. They will make observations about the crash and conditions and put them in their report. They may even make preliminary determinations of fault.

If law enforcement does not respond to your crash, you should take it upon yourself to file a report, which you can typically do online. You should file your report within ten days of the accident.  

The Importance of an Accident Report

There are several reasons why the accident report will be a critical part of your claim.

First of all, insurance companies will use the accident report as a neutral version of the incident. Additionally, the insurance company may use the accident report as a way to determine if the official police report supports your version of events. If the official police report confirms your account of the event, your chances of receiving compensation increase dramatically. 

The police report can help you prove that another driver is at fault for your accident. It can also help you demonstrate (along with your medical bills) that you suffered injuries in the crash.

On the other hand, if the official accident report from the police contradicts your version, your claim may be rejected. Or, the insurance company may offer you a lower settlement.

Determine Who Was Responsible for Filing the Accident Report

To obtain an official accident report related to the incident, you must determine who was responsible for filing the report. That usually depends on several factors, such as which agency arrived on the scene and which had jurisdiction. 

Depending on where the Fort Lauderdale accident occurred, the police report may have been filed by either Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), the Broward County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO), or the Fort Lauderdale Police Department (FLPD).

Obtain a Copy of the Official Accident Report

According to Florida law, an accident report remains confidential for 60 days from the date of the accident. To obtain an accident report during that time, you are required to provide the police with an affidavit stating you were an involved party and that you are entitled to a copy of the accident report.

This procedure may vary depending on whether the report is coming from the Fort Lauderdale Police, the sheriff’s office, or the highway patrol. Here’s a breakdown of how you can obtain an accident report from them:

Obtaining an Accident Report from the FLPD

The Fort Lauderdale Police Department’s records unit is responsible for managing accident reports. The department charges a 15 cent fee for single-sided report copies and a 20 cent fee per double-sided report copies, plus a $1 fee for each certified page. To obtain an accident report during the 60 day waiting period after the crash, you will be required to submit an Accident Report Affidavit.

Obtaining an Accident Report from the BCSO

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office maintains a detailed record of its crash reports. To apply for access to these reports, visit the BCSO website.

Obtaining an Accident Report from the FHP

You can access accident reports that have been filed by the Florida Highway Patrol through the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV) site. You may also use that website to report an accident. You will be required to pay a $10 fee to purchase a copy of an accident report through the FHSMV website. Reports are also available in-person or by mail.

A personal injury lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, FL can help you obtain a copy of your car accident report as they handle your claim.

Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in South Florida

If you’ve been injured in an accident, please contact the location nearest you for a free consultation:

Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Boca Raton Law Office
7000 W Palmetto Park Rd #500
Boca Raton, FL 33433
(561) 347-7770

Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Fort Lauderdale Law Office
1975 E Sunrise Blvd Suite 702
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
(954) 287-0566

Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – West Palm Beach Law Office
319 Clematis St #203
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
(561) 556-7873