If you were in a car accident in Miami, you could use information from the police report to support your insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. You may obtain a crash report for your car accident by filling out an online form, obtaining the report in person, or sending a request by mail. Learn how to get a police report for a car accident in Miami and how the crash report can support your car accident claim.
What Kind of Car Accidents Require a Police Report in Miami?
Not all traffic accidents require a police response or report, so you may need to self-report the crash. Florida law requires that a police report be submitted within ten days of a traffic accident that involves:
- Death of an individual
- Personal injury
- Discomfort or pain for parties involved in the accident
- Any commercial motor vehicle
- Sufficient damage that a wrecker must move a vehicle from the crash site
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Apparent damage over $500
The report must be submitted by the responding officer within 10 days of the accident. The Florida Department of Highway Safety (FLHSMV) retains custody of traffic-related records in Florida. However, you could also request a copy of the police report from the local precinct or a Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) troop station near the accident scene.
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Ways to Request a Police Report for a Car Accident in Miami
If you are an eligible party, you can obtain a copy of your accident report using one of the following methods.
Submit an Online Request
You can submit a request for a police report online through the Miami Police Department or the FLHSMV online portal, depending on the circumstances and location of your accident. There is a fee, though.
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Send a Written Request by Mail
To obtain your crash report by mail, complete and sign a sworn statement form and mail it with your payment to:
Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
2900 Apalachee Parkway, MS 28
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Crash reports requested by mail can take weeks to arrive, depending on the circumstances and location of your accident. Since Miami is a very busy city with many accidents, a report request may take longer to process.
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Request the Report in Person
You can call the local precinct or FHP station to request a report or stop by the agency that responded to the accident. Depending on the location, they may ask for your personal information or have you complete a sworn statement. They may also ask for a fee to process your request.
What Information Is in a Police Accident Report in Miami?
Police accident reports incorporate details about the accident and those involved. This information can be crucial for proving fault in a car accident claim. Details you may find in a Miami crash report include:
- Names and addresses of all the involved parties, including all drivers and passengers
- Insurance details for all parties
- Descriptions and license plate numbers for involved vehicles
- Date, time, and location of the accident
- Witness names and contact details
- Name, badge number, and agency information for the responding officer
- A diagram or description of the accident
- Contributing factors and the officer’s fault determination
The crash report may also include phone numbers and employment details for parties in the crash, especially if a commercial vehicle was involved.
Who Can Request a Crash Report for a Miami Car Accident?
Since an accident report often contains sensitive and personal information, only certain parties can obtain a copy. The following individuals are eligible to request a crash report:
- Parties involved in the crash
- An attorney representing a party involved in the crash
- A licensed insurance agent handling coverage for an involved party
- An insurance underwriter for a qualifying insurer
- A victim services program
- A state, federal, or local government agency
- A qualified third party acting on behalf of an eligible party
Members of the media can also request copies of a crash report with personal information redacted for the purposes of legal reporting. The crash report becomes public after 60 days, though certain details may be protected, depending on the circumstances.
How Does a Police Report Help With a Miami Car Accident Case?
A police report can provide critical details to support your car accident insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. It can help you prove who was at fault for the accident and establish the extent and severity of your losses.
You may use the police report as part of the evidence for your insurance claim. For a personal injury lawsuit, the police report is not always admissible as evidence. The judge will determine whether the report can be included as evidence.
Even if the report cannot be submitted, the law enforcement officer who responded to your accident can provide testimony about the accident. A Miami car accident lawyer can help you gather the necessary information to support your claim.
How a Lawyer Can Help With a Car Accident Claim in Miami
While you cope with the physical, emotional, and financial difficulties caused by a car accident, filing an insurance claim or lawsuit can be a daunting task. A Miami personal injury lawyer who handles car accident cases can help you navigate the process by:
- Requesting copies of the accident report
- Obtaining witness statements
- Securing testimony from the responding officer
- Compiling other documentation and evidence to prove fault and establish your losses
- Advocating for you in negotiations with insurance companies
- Representing you in hearings and trial proceedings
Hiring a car accident attorney in Miami allows you to focus on your health and recovery while your lawyer fights for your legal right to fair compensation from the at-fault party.
Work With a Miami Car Accident Attorney Today
If you or someone you love suffered losses in a Miami car accident, the skilled personal injury attorneys at Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers are here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation. We can explain how to get a police report for a car accident in Miami and discuss your legal options.
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