How to Get an Accident Report in Ocala, FL
Bill Allen | June 4, 2021 | Car Accidents
If you are involved in a car accident in Ocala, Florida, you must stop your vehicle. The law requires you to render aid and exchange information with the other driver. If a traffic accident results in a traffic fatality, personal injury, or property damage of at least $500, the accident must be reported to the state.
The easiest and quickest way to report an accident is to call 911 from the accident scene. You can request emergency medical services and police officers. The emergency operator dispatches law enforcement officers who have jurisdiction over the crash site.
If a car accident occurs in Ocala city limits, the Ocala Police Department is generally the agency investigating the crash and filing an accident report. For crashes outside of Ocala city limits, the state police or the Marion County Sheriff’s Office investigate and report the crash.
Obtaining a Copy of Your Car Accident Report in Ocala
Florida law limits access to car accident reports for the first 60 days following a traffic accident.
During the first 60 days following a car wreck, the only parties who may access a copy of the accident report are:
- The drivers, passengers, and other parties involved in the car accident
- The legal representatives for any parties involved in the accident
- Car insurance companies covering the people or cars involved in the crash
- Service programs for victims
- Law enforcement officials and county traffic operations
- The prosecutor’s office
- The Department of Transportation
- An insurance company that received an application for insurance from one of the drivers involved in the accident
- Newspapers that publish public notices
- Radio stations and television stations licensed by the Federal Communications Commission
- Individuals under contract to report claims information to the insurance provider
After the 60-day period ends, the accident report becomes a matter of public record.
How Can I Get a Copy of My Car Accident Report in Ocala?
Car accident reports are available from the Ocala Police Department. You can submit your request for a car accident report to the Records Department by mail, in person, or by telephone. You can also submit a record request online. The instructions are provided on the police department website, or you can call (352) 369-7090 for help.
If the Marion County Sheriff’s Office investigated the accident, you need to contact the Central Records Division at 352-732-8181. Public records are made available for inspection and copying according to Florida Statutes.
You may also obtain a copy of a car accident report from the FLHSMV. The Florida Crash Portal provides instant access to car accident reports for a fee.
Why Do I Need a Copy of My Ocala Car Accident Report?
It is a good idea to have a copy of the car accident report for your records. The report contains information that is helpful when you file a no-fault insurance claim. It is also helpful to have the report if you need to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver.
When you hire a personal injury lawyer to handle your car accident case, your lawyer takes care of obtaining a copy of the accident report. If you would like a copy for your records, let your attorney’s office know so they can send you a copy.
The car accident report contains a lot of useful information, such as:
- The names and contact information for the people involved in the car wreck
- The date, time, and location of the accident
- The police officer’s description of the accident scene and his opinion about how the crash occurred and who is at fault
- Whether the officer charged either driver with a traffic violation
- A diagram of the accident scene drawn by the officer
- Statements made to the officer by witnesses, drivers, and passengers
- The road and weather conditions at the time of the crash
The report could contain other information that would be helpful when conducting a car accident investigation.
Is the Car Accident Report Evidence?
Some of the information on the report could be used as evidence. However, some of the information is hearsay and is inadmissible in court.
Your attorney might be able to locate the person who made a comment, such as an eyewitness, using the information in the police report. If so, the witness could report the statement in court, and it would not be hearsay.
If you are unsure what to do after a car accident, reach out to a lawyer’s office. A lawyer can explain your legal rights and explain your best options for getting the money you deserve after a car crash.