How to Obtain a Police Report for a Car Accident in Fort Lauderdale
If you suffer injuries in a car accident in Florida due to someone’s negligence, you deserve fair compensation for the losses you suffer as a result. Obtaining a police accident report is an essential step in seeking this compensation. Police reports provide crucial information about car accidents, and they can be instrumental in building a solid foundation for your accident injury claim.
The legal team at Phillips | Tadros, P.A. is here to walk you through obtaining a police report for a car accident in Fort Lauderdale so that you can focus on your recovery instead of getting tangled up in red tape. Call us today or contact us online to learn more about how we can help you.
4 Ways to Obtain a Police Report in Fort Lauderdale
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) is the state’s primary archive of crash reports. Here are the top four ways to secure a copy of your Fort Lauderdale police report:
You can request your accident report online from the FLHSMV. You might need to wait as long as 10 days for a report to become accessible. The fee for requesting a copy of the report is $10 per report plus a $2 transaction fee. Once you purchase an online crash report from the FLHSMV, it becomes immediately available for download and remains accessible for 48 hours.
You can also obtain a crash report by contacting the FLHSMV by mail. To do so, you must fill out and sign a Sworn Statement for Crash Report and enclose your $10 payment with your mail-in request. You can make out a check or money order to “FLHSMV.” You’ll need to mail your request to:
Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
2900 Apalachee Parkway, MS 28
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Once you mail in your request and payment, you should receive a copy of the crash report by mail within four to six weeks.
If the local police responded to the crash, you can call the Fort Lauderdale Police Department (FLPD) at (954) 764-4357 for help. Be prepared to provide relevant details about the accident, such as the report number, the time and location of the accident, and your driver’s license number.
You can also obtain a report from local police by visiting the Fort Lauderdale Police Department in person. The department’s office is at 1300 W Broward Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale. Remember to bring a valid ID and relevant information or documentation about the accident.
Still Need Help?
If you have trouble accessing a crash report for an accident, you could also contact the FLPD or the local police department closest to the accident’s location directly. The skilled attorneys at Phillips | Tadros, P.A. can help you with this and all other aspects of the claims process. Contact us today to find out more.
Will I Need to Know Who Filed the Report?
Knowing who filed the report can be helpful but is not needed to obtain a copy. To get a copy of the report for your records, you only need to provide the appropriate information about the accident to ensure you receive the correct report.
What Information Is in a Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Police Report?
A police car accident report typically includes details such as:
- The date, time, and location of the accident
- The names, addresses, and contact details of the parties involved
- Descriptions of the vehicles involved
- The weather and road conditions at the time of the accident
- A description of any traffic signs or signals near the scene of the crash
- A summary of the events leading up to the accident
- Statements from eyewitnesses who saw the collision
- The responding officer’s observations and opinions about who is liable for the crash
Am I Required to File a Police Report After a Car Accident?
Florida law does not require you to report an accident that involves less than $500 in property damage and does not cause any injuries or fatalities. However, it is generally a good idea to alert the police anyway to ensure there is documentation – even after relatively minor accidents. If you did not call the authorities from the scene, you may file a Driver Self Report of Traffic Crash online.
Some injuries are not immediately apparent following a car accident. Symptoms might not develop for hours or even days after the wreck. Having a police report on file establishes a timeline of events and is solid evidence in case you discover injuries later and need to file a compensation claim.
Filing a police report can also protect you against fraudulent claims from other parties involved in the accident. In some cases, individuals exaggerate the extent of their injuries or property damage in dishonest attempts to seek compensation. A police report can substantiate the facts of the accident and minimize the risk of fraud.
Do the Police Reports Stay Confidential?
For the first 60 days after an accident, police reports remain confidential. Only specific individuals – including the parties involved in the accident, their legal representatives, and their insurance companies – can access the report during this time. After 60 days, the report becomes a public record.
What If the Car Accident Happened More Than 60 Days Ago?
After the 60-day period, anyone can get a copy of a crash report by submitting a request and paying a fee. This could affect your accident claim, so it’s a good idea to consult a knowledgeable lawyer as soon as possible after a wreck.
Will a Police Report Help in a Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Lawsuit?
A police report can be valuable evidence in a car accident lawsuit. It provides an unbiased account of the events leading up to the accident and the responding officer’s observations and opinions regarding who is at fault. This information can help you establish liability and support your compensation claim.
A police report alone might not be enough to prove your case. However, it can serve as a critical source of information when combined with other documentation, such as medical records, witness statements, and photographs of the accident scene.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Lawyer
Obtaining a police report is just one step in the complex and time-consuming process of pursuing a personal injury claim after a car accident in Fort Lauderdale. Rather than try to do it on your own, get help from an experienced attorney.
At Phillips | Tadros, P.A., our team provides compassionate and effective legal representation for car accident victims in Fort Lauderdale. We understand the challenges you face and will work tirelessly to secure the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help.