How to Obtain a Car Accident Report in Jacksonville, FL
In Florida, you must contact the police after an accident that involves injury, death, or more than $500 in property damage. The responding officers will investigate the car accident and produce a crash report.
This crash report could provide important information to support your injury claim. It will describe the accident and your injuries to verify how and when you got injured. It will also provide the officer’s impressions about whether anyone violated traffic laws and caused the accident.
Read on to learn how to obtain a car accident report in Jacksonville, FL, and how you can use the report in your claim.
How the Florida Crash Report Gets Generated
When the police respond to a traffic crash, they must determine whether Florida law requires an investigation.
Law enforcement officers must investigate every crash in Florida that involves:
- A disabled vehicle that required a wrecker for removal from the scene
- A hit-and-run
- A commercial vehicle
If the accident does not fall into these categories, the police will instruct the drivers to exchange insurance information. But they will not investigate and prepare a crash report. However, you can self-report the accident to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
If the accident does fall into one of these categories, the police will:
- Interview the drivers involved
- Question witnesses
- Examine the accident scene
The responding officers will produce a crash report within ten days of the accident.
How to Get a Copy of a Crash Report in Jacksonville, FL
When the investigating officers complete the crash report, certain people can access it. Crash reports are kept confidential for 60 days after an accident in Florida.
If you want a copy sooner than that, you must show that you belong to one of the following groups:
- The parties involved in the crash
- Lawyers for a party involved in the crash
- Insurers for any vehicle involved in the crash
- Police agencies
- Victims services programs
- Free newspapers that print legal notices
- TV and radio stations
You can request your crash report online on the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office website or the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website. The agency will verify that you fall within a category entitled to access the crash report before providing access to it.
What Are the Contents of a Florida Crash Report?
A crash report will contain:
- The date and time of the crash
- The location of the crash
- A list of the vehicles involved in the crash
- The names and addresses of the drivers, passengers, pedestrians, or motorcyclists involved
- Names and addresses of witnesses
- Name, badge number, and law enforcement agency involved
- Insurers for the vehicles involved
- Description of the accident
The crash report will also have a diagram of the crash and the investigating officer’s narrative about what happened. The crash report lists any citations issued.
Using the Crash Report in Your Insurance Claim or Jacksonville Personal Injury Lawsuit
Florida uses a no-fault car insurance system. After a crash, you must first seek injury compensation from your own Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurer, regardless of who was responsible for the collision.
Your PIP benefits cover 80% of your reasonable medical expenses and 60% of your income losses. But you must prove that your injuries resulted from a car accident. The crash report will prove that the accident happened and you received your injuries in the accident.
If you exceed your no-fault policy limits or suffer a significant and permanent injury, you can pursue compensation from the at-fault driver by filing an insurance claim (if applicable) or a personal injury lawsuit. The crash report can help you prove that the other driver caused the crash. The narrative and the list of citations will help you and your Jacksonville auto accident lawyer prove that the other driver acted negligently.
Contact the Jacksonville Car Accident Law Firm of Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers Today For Help
Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers – Jacksonville
9471 Baymeadows Rd #105,
Jacksonville, FL 32256, United States
Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers – Downtown Jacksonville
121 W. Forsyth St. #170
Jacksonville, FL 32202