What Is In My Florida Accident Report?

If you’re involved in a car accident in Florida, you’ll need an official accident report. Following any collision, it’s critical to contact law enforcement, regardless of the severity or who was involved. In fact, Florida state law requires motorists to report most crashes.

According to the 2020 Florida Statutes concerning motor vehicles, a crash report must be submitted by law enforcement within ten days of a collision. This helps protect you from false accusations of fault, denied insurance claims, and higher monthly rates.

An accident report in Florida contains information specific to your crash. The information documented by a law enforcement officer present at the scene can be used as evidence in any resulting insurance settlement or lawsuit. If you were injured or suffered property damage, it’s important to call the police so that they create a crash report that documents the incident and resulting damages. It could make all the difference in the future.

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The Parts of a Florida Accident Report

There are several categories within a Florida crash report. Each of these categories contains relevant information regarding the accident. An accident report in Florida will contain:

Identification and Location

A law enforcement officers will gather this information upon arrival at the scene. This basic information includes relevant details such as:

  • The date and exact time the accident took place
  • The location of the accident, including the precise coordinates of the area
  • The type of road on which the accident took place (public, private, toll road, etc.)
  • Whether or not the crash took place within a designated work zone
  • A detailed description of the street.
  • The intersecting road or closest intersection for reference

Vehicle Information

This section documents the vehicles involved in the collision, such as:

  • Whether or not the vehicles remained at the scene or fled (i.e., a hit-and-run)
  • License plate state and numbers
  • Vehicle identification numbers (VINs)
  • The make, model, color, year, and body style of each vehicle

Driver Information

In this section, the officer records information concerning the driver of each vehicle and any other occupants, including:

  • Names, addresses, and dates of birth (DOBs)
  • License numbers, class, and states in which they were issued
  • The exact number of persons in each vehicle
  • Severity and types of injuries sustained by all occupants
  • Whether or not the occupants of the vehicle appeared to be under the influence of legal or illegal drugs

Other Persons / Tow

The investigator will gather the information about the person(s) responsible for each vehicle involved and the aftermath of the collision, such as:

  • Name and address of the owner of the vehicle
  • Proof of vehicle registration and the registration number
  • The name of the towing company which towed each vehicle, if any

Deposition of Those Injured or Killed

In this section, the law enforcement officer present at the scene will document all identifying information of those involved in the crash who were injured or killed. The information in this portion of the accident report includes:

  • The specific vehicle the victim was in, the side they were on, and the seat they were in
  • The name of the medical facility that they were taken to following the accident
  • Date and time of death, if pertinent

Charges (If Any)

Should there be any charges filed as a result of the collision, such as a drunk driving citation, it will be included in this portion of the accident report. This information is not final since charges could be added or dropped in the future.

 

Damages

This section will detail information concerning the damages each vehicle sustained as a result of the collision. The investigator will document this information to the best of their ability, but additional damages may be identified as the case or lawsuit progresses.

Commercial Motor Vehicle Information

If any commercial vehicle was involved in the collision, the law enforcement officer would list all the relevant information about the vehicle in the crash report, such as:

  • The Commercial Carrier’s name and address
  • The approximate weight of the vehicle
  • The type of commercial vehicle
  • Whether or not the vehicle was carrying or in possession of hazardous substances
  • The events that led to the collision

Contributing Factors and Conditions

This section documents information concerning the weather or road conditions that may have played a role in the accident, such as:

  • Ice, sleet, or snow
  • Potholes
  • Unclear traffic signs or road markings
  • Heavy fog or rain

Narrative and Diagram

In this section, the law enforcement officer will create a narrative of how the accident occurred using the information they collected in the crash report. They will identify who they believe caused the collision and any other contributing factors. They will also create a visual diagram of the crash.

Investigator Information

This section of the crash report documents the law enforcement officer responding to the collision. They must list the following:
  • The date and time of the accident
  • The time that the officer was notified and arrived on the scene
  • Their full name and badge number
  • The name of their agency

Common Questions About the Florida Accident Report

You can purchase a crash report from the Florida Department of Transportation in person, by mail, or online. It may take up to 10 days before it becomes available to involved parties and becomes available to the public 60 days following a crash report being filed. You can also request one for free right here.

 

In Florida, you have the option to self-report an accident online or by mail. It’s recommended to report all crashes by calling 911, so a law enforcement officer can record the crash accurately and without personal bias. This could protect your right to compensation in an insurance claim.

 

No. The information included in a crash report and a police report may overlap, but they are two separate documents that serve different purposes. A police report will be filled out when a crime occurred at the scene of the accident, such as one or more of the drivers operating their motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or if someone is killed as a result of the collision.

 

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