In Florida, a police crash report is a summary that an investigating officer files after responding to a 911 call for a car accident. The report is used to determine the cause of the accident, document damages, and injuries, and provide a general record of the incident. The officer will record names, addresses, driver’s license numbers, and insurance information from those involved.
They will also take make diagrams of the scene, noting road conditions, weather, lighting, and traffic patterns. They will detail injuries as well as vehicle and property damage. The report may contain the officer’s opinion as to who was at fault in the accident. It is a legal document that can be used later for insurance matters. There may be restrictions on how some statements are used in court due to Florida’s car crash report privilege law.
A crash report is technically different from a police report. Officers file a police report when a crime is committed and may do so in the case of a car accident that involves a criminal act, such as drunk driving. Otherwise, when investigating an accident, officers will file a crash report.
According to Florida Statute 316.065, police must file a crash report for any of the following:
- A crash with injury;
- A crash with fatality;
- A hit and run crash;
- A DUI crash;
- A crash which requires a wrecker to remove the vehicle;
- A crash with a commercial motor vehicle; or
- A crash where apparent damage is at least $500.00.
Police Crash Report in An Accident Injury Claim
A police crash report can be very helpful in a personal injury claim. It can provide your attorney with crucial details about your case and help estimate the amount of your claim. Your lawyer may be able to contact witnesses listed in the report and request statements that may be useful to your case. If the report establishes that the other motorist was at fault, it may be very useful in settlement negotiations.
Contact an Orlando car accident attorney if you have questions about your police crash report. The Martinez Manglardi personal injury law firm has been helping accident victims recover losses for 35 years. Call 866-730-1881 for a free consultation. Offices throughout Central Florida.