Florida uses no-fault auto insurance that pays benefits to injured motorists and passengers regardless of fault for a car accident. But in some situations, these benefits will not cover your losses, and you will need to file an injury claim against the at-fault driver.
Fault becomes a key issue in a claim against another driver. You must prove the other driver caused the accident. A crash report after an accident in West Palm Beach, FL, can provide the information that leads you to the evidence required to prove your claim. Contact Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers for a free initial consultation by calling (561) 556-7873.
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How Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers Can Help After an Accident in West Palm Beach
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers was established nearly 27 years ago to provide small firm attention and big firm resources to Florida accident victims. Since that time, our West Palm Beach car accident attorneys have recovered tens of millions of dollars in injury compensation for clients.
We’ve also earned some of the legal profession’s highest honors, including:
- An AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating for legal knowledge and ethics
- A 10.0 Superb rating from Avvo, its highest rating for legal background
- Perfect 5.0 client review averages on Martindale.com, Avvo, and Google
If you hire us after a car accident in West Palm Beach, Florida, we’ll have the capability to help:
- Take care of all the negotiations and communications with the at-fault party
- File a lawsuit against the responsible driver if needed
- Inform you of your legal rights and options as your case progresses
Car accident claims require extensive evidence and solid legal arguments. To learn how experienced lawyers use crash reports to fight for injury compensation after your car accident, contact Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers for a free consultation.
Florida’s Car Accident Report Requirements and Crash Statistics
Florida police officers prepare hundreds of thousands of accident reports each year. Under Florida law, drivers must call the police after any accident that causes:
- Property damage over $500
Once they respond to the crash, the police must prepare a crash report. These reports are for accidents involving:
- Fatal or non-fatal injuries
- Commercial motor vehicles, like semi-trucks
- Hit and run
- Damage that disabled a vehicle
According to the Florida Crash Dashboard, the state had nearly 159,000 injury crashes and over 3,100 fatal crashes in 2022. Police prepared accident reports for all of these crashes.
In total, Florida had over 386,000 traffic accidents in 2022. Of the roughly 224,000 crashes that caused property damage only (PDO), most caused over $500 in damage. Even minor body damage, like a new bumper, can start at $300 and run up to several thousand dollars, depending on the vehicle.
With a $500 threshold for property damage, you can assume that police prepared crash reports for most of the 224,000 PDO crashes.
Obtaining Your Car Accident Report in West Palm Beach, FL
After a police officer investigates your crash, they have ten days to prepare and file a crash report. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) maintains a central database of all crash reports in the state. Police departments transmit accident reports electronically to the FLHSMV upon completion.
As a result, you can usually access your crash report roughly ten days after your crash. To do this, you have two options:
Florida Crash Report Portal
The Florida Crash Report Portal maintained by the FLHSMV is the exclusive source of crash reports from the Florida Highway Patrol and the West Palm Beach Police Department. You can also get crash reports from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office from the crash portal.
To get a report, you must enter information to identify your crash. You must also submit an electronically-signed verification that you:
- Were a party in the accident
- Owned a vehicle or property damaged in the crash
- Work for an insurer of a vehicle or property involved in the crash
- Represent someone injured or killed in the accident
This verification allows you to access the crash report within 60 days after the accident. If you access your report more than 60 days after the crash, the report is a public record, and you do not need to submit verification.
Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office
Some police agencies provide copies of crash reports directly to requesters. You cannot get a crash report from the West Palm Beach Police Department or the Florida Highway Patrol. But you can get a crash report written by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.
To get a copy of your crash report, you must submit the same verification attesting you fall within the statutory categories.
Using Your Crash Report
Crash reports constitute inadmissible hearsay in most circumstances. Nevertheless, your lawyer can use your crash report for your insurance claim, which does not follow the rules of evidence. The crash report can also lead your lawyer to admissible evidence.
Crash reports include valuable information, such as:
- Lists of witnesses
- Accident diagrams
- Narrative explanations from the police about how the crash happened
- Lists of traffic citations issued
Your lawyer can use the report to gather eyewitness testimony and provide the diagram and explanation to an expert witness to reconstruct the crash.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Car Accident Law Firm in West Palm Beach
Crash reports can help you prove your case for injury compensation. To discuss your accident and the compensation you can seek, contact Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers for a free consultation with an experienced West Palm Beach car accident lawyer today.