The period of time right after a car accident is stressful and overwhelming. You may be suffering from injuries, unable to work, and communicating with insurance companies. You may also be contemplating filing a personal injury lawsuit against the party responsible for the accident.
Obtaining a copy of your Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) crash report may be the last thing on your mind. However, this document is integral to any lawsuit you file after a car crash. Read on to learn more about Florida Highway Patrol crash reports, including how to obtain a copy and why they are important.
What Is an FHP Crash Report?
A crash report provides a summary of important information about your car accident. Since the document is prepared by investigating law enforcement officers who responded to the scene of your accident, their analysis of the events surrounding your accident is considered unbiased and accurate.
How Can I Obtain a Copy of My Florida Highway Patrol Accident Report?
If you were involved in a car accident in Florida, you need to get a copy of your Florida Highway Patrol accident report as soon as possible. There are three relatively easy ways to obtain copies of Florida Highway Patrol crash reports.
You may wonder, “How do I look up an accident report in Florida?” To get a copy of your FHP accident report online, head to the Florida Crash Portal and search for your accident report by the report number. When you get to the search page, click the button labeled “Report Number.” Enter the report number provided to you by the responding police officer into the search box, complete the security challenge, and click the blue search button.
If you don’t have your report number, you can get your accident report by searching for the vehicle identification number of one of the vehicles involved in the accident. You can also search for reports by using the last name of a party involved in the accident. For this option, you will also need to provide the date of the accident and the county where the accident occurred.
Online crash reports cost $10 per report plus a $2 convenience fee. After completing your purchase, you’ll receive a download link via email, allowing you to save a copy of the report to your computer.
You may also retrieve your Florida accident report in person at the Florida Highway Patrol troop station closest to the location of your accident. You must provide personal identification, such as a valid driver’s license. Bring a proper form of payment, including cash, check, or credit card.
You can call ahead to ensure your accident report is ready for pickup. All troop stations are open Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. You may view a list of all Florida Highway Patrol troop stations online.
You may also get a copy of your FHP crash report by mailing a request to the Crash Records Department of the Florida Highway Patrol.
Mail in your request and a check for $10 to the following address:
Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Crash Records
2900 Apalachee Parkway, MS 28
Tallahassee, FL 32399
This method may take longer but may be the most convenient for those who are not comfortable with a computer. After mailing in your request, you should receive a copy of your Florida accident report within 4-6 weeks.
Why Is My Florida Accident Report Important?
After an accident, it’s essential to call the police, even if you think the crash was minor. In addition to securing the scene, police will ensure everyone is safe and assess their physical condition.
Another important job of police officers who respond to an accident scene is creating an accident report. Florida Highway Patrol crash reports document accidents and contain valuable insights about what happened.
Accident reports include the following helpful pieces of information:
- Accident details such as the date, time, and location of the crash;
- Identifying information for all vehicles involved;
- Information regarding the direction each vehicle was traveling and the severity of each vehicle’s damage;
- Names and contact information for all drivers involved in the crash;
- Whether any drivers involved were under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Names and contact information for any witnesses to the accident;
- Information about injuries or fatalities at the accident scene; and
- Whether the officer issued any citations to any drivers involved in the accident.
An FHP crash report includes a written narrative by the reporting officer describing how the accident happened based on their initial investigation and may even determine who was at fault.
Police officers are considered unbiased and reliable sources of information. Your attorney will use this information in any potential lawsuit that may follow. Insurance companies also use these reports to determine fault in an accident.
Contact Our Florida Auto Accident Attorneys
Barrett Nonni Homola & Ferraro is a client-focused personal injury and wrongful death law firm with over 40 years of experience helping people hold the party who harmed them accountable. If you suffered injuries in a car accident and need assistance exploring your options for compensation, contact our firm today.
We provide our clients with an energetic and aggressive approach to legal representation and help them achieve the best possible outcome for their cases. We understand that you are facing a difficult time, and we treat you with the respect and courtesy you deserve.