After a collision on a Florida interstate or highway, it may be a Florida Highway Patrol (FHP)officer who responds to the scene. In an accident caused by a careless driver, you may be dependent on the crash report the officer will write up about your collision.
This report can be critical evidence to make sure you aren’t blamed for a crash you didn’t cause. Knowing when and how to obtain a copy of your accident report can help you secure compensation for your property damage and injury costs.
When Do I Need to Retrieve My Own Florida Highway Patrol Accident Report?
A devastating collision may leave you with a totaled car. You could also be healing from a serious injury. When you are hurt by another driver’s actions, the at-fault driver’s car insurance company should be helping you with the financial side of your recovery, but sometimes insurance adjusters don’t want to accept responsibility right away. They may look for ways to shift the blame to save money.
A Highway Patrol crash report can show powerful evidence as to who really was to blame. However, insurers will even try to contradict collision reports if they can. That’s when having a lawyer on your side can really help protect your rights.
You may need an accident report to back your case, but if you have a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer handling your claim, your lawyer will secure this report for you. If your accident only involves property damage, your own car insurance representative may also be trying to get a copy for you. If you’ll be going after your accident report yourself, you’ll have a few ways to do it.
Securing a Crash Report from the Florida Highway Patrol
If you need to obtain a copy of a Florida Highway Patrol crash report yourself, you’ll need to request it online, through the mail, or in person.
One thing to keep in mind, traffic crash reports may take up to 10 days or longer for officers to complete and post. You should wait at least 10 days before making a request. If your accident report doesn’t seem to be available after a certain period, you may need to call the Florida Highway Patrol office closest to you.
Requesting an FHP Crash Report Online
Accident victims can request a crash report by starting the process online at the Florida Crash Portal. The fee for crash reports is $10.00 per report, per section 321.23, Florida Statutes. A convenience fee of $2.00 will be applied to each total transaction through the Florida Crash Portal. Only credit card payment is accepted online.
Generally, only these parties are permitted to request an accident report:
- parties involved in the crash
- their legal representatives
- their licensed insurance agents
- victim services programs,
- any local, state, or federal agency
Crash Reports By Mail or In Person
Customers requesting a crash record by mail or in person must complete a signed statement for proper identification.
Payment must be included with the request. Check or money order should be made out to “FLHSMV.” Processing time to receive the record is 4-6 weeks.
For each crash report requested, payment must be mailed to:
Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
2900 Apalachee Parkway, MS 28
Tallahassee, FL 32399
For in-person requests, you’ll want to go to the Highway Patrol office closest to your crash. A location can be found on the FHP website displaying Troop Stations. For Fort Lauderdale residents, the closest office may be the Davie station:
14190 State Road 84
Davie, FL 33325
Should I Contact a Lawyer After a Fort Lauderdale Car Accident?
If you are seriously injured due to a careless driver’s mistake, you should discuss your options with a skilled Fort Lauderdale car accident Lawyer. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation. It’s a great way to find out what your injuries are worth before a car insurance company tries to convince you that you should pay your own recovery bills.
You should also contact Cowen Edwards if you are being unfairly blamed for an accident. Knowing your rights and about every benefit available to accident victims can keep you from losing out on valuable compensation.