Sean Lopez | October 21, 2022 | Car Accident
FAQs: Car Accident Reports in Florida
St. Petersburg and Tampa, Florida, are within the second largest metropolitan area in the State of Florida. As such, it is no surprise that the number of car accidents in this area is relatively high. After being involved in a car accident, you may need to file a car accident report with the Florida Highway Patrol (“FHP”).
There are several ways to file a car accident report, which are further explained below. Your car accident report has vital information you can use if you file a claim against your insurance provider, the other driver’s insurance provider, or a personal injury claim against the other driver.
What Is a Car Accident Report?
A car accident report is a police officer’s written synopsis of the car accident. This report typically includes the following information (note this is a non-exhaustive list):
- The names of the driver involved in the accident;
- The names of passengers involved in the accident, if any;
- The drivers’ insurance information (along with the passengers, if any);
- What the road conditions were like during the time the accident occurred;
- Time, date, and location;
- The cars’ damages; and
- The drivers’ and passengers’ injuries.
The information found in your car accident report is extremely useful for filing a claim with your insurance provider, as well as filing a legal cause action should you choose to do so.
How Long Do You Have To Report a Car Accident?
Under Florida law, a person involved in a car accident that results in a personal injury, death, or personal property damage of more than $500, must report the incident immediately to the local law enforcement agency. If you are in an accident, call 911, and the dispatcher will notify the police and first responders of the accident. Florida law also requires that the responding police officer prepares a car accident report.
What Happens If You Do Not Report an Accident?
If an individual fails to report a car accident that meets the above threshold for reporting, they could potentially be at risk for fines and other penalties.
How Do You Request a Car Accident Report?
Requesting your car accident report is actually fairly simple. You will just need to request the report from FHP either online, by mail, or in person.
Requesting your accident report online from FHP will require you to have your report number. Once you have your report number handy, you will visit the Florida Crash Portal.
The online report has a standard $10 fee per report, along with a $2 convenience fee. When you submit your request with payment, you should receive a zip file with PDFs in your email. You will have 48 hours from the time you make your request to view and download these files.
Law enforcement agencies are required to submit their report within ten days of the accident, so you may want to wait those ten days before trying to request your car accident report.
If you experience issues with getting your report online, contact the law enforcement agency directly to order a copy.
Like the online process, requesting a report by mail will require you to pay a $10 fee with your mail-in report request. The fee can be in the form of a personal check or a money order. The check or money order must be made payable to “FLHSMV.” You will mail your request to the below address:
Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
2900 Apalachee Parkway, MS 28
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Failure to provide the $10 fee with your mail-in request will result in your request being denied.
If requesting your car accident report in person, you will need to visit the FHP station near where the accident happened. You can locate the locations of the stations here.
FHP stations are typically open Monday through Friday (7:00 am – 5:30 pm). Make sure you have your driver’s license (or other identification) when you go in.
Car Accident Reports Can Help Your Case for Compensation
Car accident reports are easy to request, even though they may take time and money. However, the information provided in these reports is more than worth the wait, especially if you are pursuing a legal claim against an insurance provider or the other driver.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm – Lopez Law Group Accident Injury Attorneys
Contact a St. Petersburg auto accident lawyer at Lopez Law Group Accident Injury Attorneys and schedule a free case review today.
Lopez Law Group Accident Injury Attorneys
700 7th Ave N Suite B
St. Petersburg, FL 33701