What You Should Know About Car Accident Police Reports
Florida motorists who are involved in car accidents often have questions about the importance of the police report drafted at the time of the crash. These documents can play a critical role in determining fault for a collision, but can be difficult to obtain, so if you or a loved one were recently injured in a car crash and need help obtaining evidence from your collision, including a police report, please don’t hesitate to call one of our dedicated Fort Lauderdale auto accident lawyers today for help.
What are Police Reports?
Car accident-related police reports are generated by the investigating officer who responds to a collision. Also often referred to as accident or crash reports, these records typically contain a summary of information related to the accident, including:
- The facts of the accident;
- The opinions of the investigating officer;
- Statements made by either party at the scene of the accident; and
- The names and contact information of the parties involved in the collision.
Important facts that could be listed by an officer include the type of vehicles involved, the contact information of any witnesses who saw the accident take place, information about the vehicles’ occupants, and details regarding the time of day, road conditions, and weather, as well as the parties’ basic insurance information.
Where to Obtain a Car Accident Report
At the time of an accident, the responding police officer will usually provide the motorists with a Drivers Exchange of Information form, which has a place to list the vehicles involved in the crash and the owners of those vehicles, as well the names of the drivers and passengers. This document alone, however, is not sufficient to provide evidence of fault in a personal injury case, so motorists should be sure to obtain a copy of the official police report, which will usually be filed with the state within a week of the crash, although the police department should have a copy of the report within a few days of the crash. Motorists can also seek information from the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, which has a crash portal that provides more information about accessing one’s crash report.
What to do if There is No Police Report for Your Accident
Florida motorists who attempt to collect a copy of the police report after their accident and then discover that no report was ever created have a number of options. This scenario isn’t very likely to occur, but could happen if one or more of the parties leaves the scene of the accident before the police have been called or can respond to the crash. Even if there is no official police report on record, there is a good chance that someone involved in the crash filed a crash report with the police department on their own. Alternatively, the parties could engage in a thorough liability investigation with the help of their insurers and attorneys to determine who was at fault for the accident.
Call Today to Schedule a Free Case Review
If you were recently involved in a car accident and have questions about the process of proving who was at fault for the crash, please call 954-566-9919 and a member of our legal team will help you set up a free consultation with one of the experienced car accident lawyers at Boone & Davis today.