How To Obtain an Accident Report in Ocala, FL
After a car accident in Ocala, FL, you have several legal duties, including stopping at the accident scene to exchange information with the other driver. If anyone suffered injury or death, you must also contact the police.
The responding officers will investigate the crash and produce an accident report summarizing their findings. It is a very valuable document, as it can help you find evidence for your personal injury claim. A lawyer from Allen Law Firm, P.A. will review your report and use it to gather the records you need to pursue compensation.
How Our Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help After a Car Accident in Ocala, FL
Since 2007, Allen Law Firm, P.A. has helped injured clients in Ocala, Florida, pursue justice and fair compensation from those responsible for their injuries. Our attorneys have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements and damage awards for the firm’s clients.
After you get injured, our Ocala car accident lawyers can help by providing:
- An analysis of your situation so you can make informed decisions about your case
- Decades of experience negotiating with insurers for fair settlements
- A track record of success in the courtroom against insurers who refuse to settle
Car accidents can cause disabling injuries that require expensive treatment and prevent you from working. Contact Allen Law Firm, P.A. for a free consultation to discuss your injuries and the compensation we can help you recover.
How Many Accident Reports Get Filed in Florida?
Under Florida law, you must contact the police after any crash that causes:
Though you need to call the police, the officers do not need to prepare a full accident report for every call they respond to.
Florida law requires officers to file a report for crashes involving:
- Disabling vehicle damage
- Intoxicated driving
- Commercial motor vehicles
Under the same law, the police can use a short-form report when they respond to a crash that does not require a report. This form contains insurance policy numbers for both drivers so they can fulfill their duty to exchange information. But the short form contains no investigative summary.
- 3,454 fatal crashes
- 163,956 non-fatal injury crashes
- 3,204 intoxicated driving crashes not involving injury or death
- 36,234 truck accidents not involving injury or death
These numbers add to 206,848 total accident reports. And you still need to add in the number of accidents that disabled a vehicle without causing injury or death. The Florida Crash Facts Report does not share this number. So, at best, you can say that over 206,848 crash reports were written and filed by Florida police officers in 2021.
Getting and Using a Florida Car Accident Report
The procedure for getting an accident report depends on the jurisdiction that investigated your crash. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) operates a crash portal for all accident reports filed in the state. You must use the FLHSMV portal to get crash reports for collisions that the Florida Highway Patrol investigated.
You may use the FLHSMV portal for crash reports from county sheriff’s offices and local police departments. You can also get accident reports directly from local police agencies for crashes they investigated. For example, both the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and the Ocala Police Department allow you to request a crash report for accidents they investigated.
The FLHSMV portal is the easiest method as long as you can wait ten days for FLHSMV to upload the report. If you want the report more quickly, you might try contacting the police agency that investigated it. Just make sure you contact the correct agency.
Who Can Get a Crash Report?
Crash reports remain confidential for the first 60 days after filing.
During this time, the state and its agencies can only release reports to the following:
- Parties to the crash
- Owners of property damaged in the crash
- Insurers and lawyers for anyone involved in the crash
The agency mandates that you sign a declaration stating you fall into these categories. Once you affirm your identity, you will pay a fee and receive your report.
How To Use an Accident Report
Crash reports constitute inadmissible hearsay that your lawyer generally cannot use in court. But your lawyer can use them in your insurance claim to explain what happened. And if the insurer refuses to settle, your lawyer can use the information in the report to uncover admissible evidence, such as witnesses who can testify for you.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Experienced Ocala Car Accident Lawyers
Insurers and jurors need evidence to support your explanation about how your crash happened. Contact our team today at (352) 351-3258 to discuss how our Ocala personal injury lawyers can use your accident report to support your claim.