A police report is a formal document in which the police detail everything they observed at the accident scene, along with a description of what happened. Furthermore in the police report, also known as a crash report or incident report, includes contributing causes that may prove negligence. The police report is considered to be a more reliable source of information since the police are typically an impartial party. This traffic accident report can help your car accident lawyer to support your claim in case of an auto accident.
In case you are involved in an accident, you are required by Florida’s state law to report it immediately to the Highway Patrol or Police, if any of the following occurs:
- Injury or death
- Hit and run auto accident
- A crash caused by a driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- An auto accident that caused property damage of more than $500
What Information Is Included In A Police Report?
First of all, a police report documents the basic information of the accident. It states the exact time (date and time) and location (city or town and street, road or highway) of the accident. The report also includes the time law enforcement was notified, the time they arrived at the scene, and the type of road the accident occurred on.
In another section, they document the driver details, including the license number and auto insurance company number, and the vehicle details. Moreover, they report any injuries occurred to the passengers of the vehicle or to pedestrians, and alcohol and drug results, as well as the speed limit.
The police officers in their report documenting the cause of the crash, including the contributing causes. For instance, a contributing cause might be that a driver disregarded the traffic lights. Furthermore, they include subsequent harmful events, like a collision with a pedestrian. Police officers will also record the details of the accident scene, such as the road conditions, the exact location, vehicle defects, and other factors that may have caused the accident.
Other crucial details, like witness details or if an arrest was made at the scene of the incident are described in the crash report narrative, which is the officer’s report from the scene in writing. The pictorial report of how the officer believes that the accident happened is called a crash report diagram.
All these details included in the police report are crucial in proving fault and claim compensation for your damages and injuries.
How To Get A Police Report
The ways to get a police report are the following:
- Visit the police department that responded to your incident and pick it up from there. Usually, people go to the Records Unit and pick their crash record themselves. You should better contact the police station’s general number before you go and ask about which police department handled your accident, their location, and working hours. Moreover, the police report may take some days before it is available, and also, you will have to pay a small fee to pick up your paperwork.
- Order it online. Some people prefer to get their reports online and avoid the hassle of visiting the police station. You need the following information to search for your accident’s police report:
- The date of the incident
- The location that the accident happened
- The identification number of your vehicle (VIN)
- Your auto accident attorney can handle it for you. An auto accident attorney in Tampa can get your police report for you. It is an easy procedure for their legal assistants to do, along with the process of gathering proof to help you build your case and get compensated for your injuries.
What Happens If I Did Not Call The Police
You cannot get a police report if you did not call them to respond to your accident. If you do not have a police report, you may face problems with your insurance company. They will probably try to blame you for the accident, so they do not have to pay for compensation. The option you have in this scenario is to write your own personal incident report as soon as possible and give it to your car accident attorney. Your written description of the accident may help your lawyer when dealing with the insurance companies, but will not be accepted by government agencies.
Contact A Tampa Car Accident Lawyer
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident and you want to speak with a legal professional, call us at Winters and Yonker Firm for a free consultation with our experienced auto accident lawyers.