Are Car Accident Reports Public Record in St. Petersburg?
Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers | Car Accident
Yes, car accident reports are public records in St. Petersburg—but not right away. For 60 days after the accident, the report is only available to certain parties.
Am I Required to Report a Car Crash?
In Florida as a driver, you are required to report an accident if specific conditions have been met. Under Florida law, you must report the accident if it has resulted in either bodily harm or more than $500 worth of property damage.
The accident must be reported immediately under Florida law, and you must use your fastest form of communication to do so. If the accident happened in a city, you could report it to the local police. Otherwise, the accident should be reported to the Florida Highway Patrol or county sheriff’s office. In most cases, if you don’t know who to call, just call 911.
What Do I Need to Submit a Claim After a Car Accident?
There are many things to consider in any vehicle accident. Car accidents often involve serious injuries and significant property damage. In order to recover the money you need to cover your expenses, you might have to work with many aspects of insurance policies.
You could be dealing with property damage liability, personal injury protection, medical coverage, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, bodily injury liability, and collision/comprehensive insurance.
The important pieces of information you need to file an auto insurance claim are:
- Your name, address, license number, car make/model
- Driver’s insurance company
- The other driver’s name, address, license number, and insurance company
- The accident report numbers (if received)
- Witness’s names, addresses, and phone numbers
It’s often helpful to seek advice from an experienced St. Petersburg personal injury lawyer after an accident. They can help make sure your claim is complete and error-free. They can also help advocate for you if the insurance company refuses to give you a fair offer.
What If I’m Not Sure Who Was at Fault?
Fault is often difficult to determine after an accident. Many accidents have multiple causes. Florida is a “no-fault” state when it comes to car accidents. That means that even if you were at fault, you’ll still have access to your Personal Injury Protection insurance.
But, you still don’t want to make any statements to anyone that could be interpreted as admitting fault. Answer questions from the police truthfully, but it’s best to speak with a lawyer before in-depth discussions with insurance companies. Contacting a trusted attorney can be one of the most important steps to take after a car accident.
Who Is Allowed to View Car Accident Reports?
Within the first 60 days, there is a restriction period before car accident reports are available to the public.
The parties who can access this record during this time are:
- Drivers and any other passengers involved in the accident
- Legal representatives of all involved
- Insurance companies that provide insurance to vehicles or passengers
- Law enforcement
- Country traffic operators
- Department of Transportation
- Television stations, radio stations, and newspapers
- Prosecutor’s office
- Insurance companies that receive applications for new customers
If you have been in an auto accident, have your insurance company request the report on your behalf. Make sure to take note of all damages before signing off on any settlement offer.
How Do I Obtain My Car Accident Report?
You can obtain a car accident report by visiting the St. Petersburg police department in person. Bring identification because you may be asked to verify who you are to obtain your report, especially if it is withing the 60-day window. You can also get a copy of the report from the police department’s website.
Or, you can also use Florida’s Crash Portal to request a copy of your report. This will be able to download and print immediately. You’ll have to pay a $10 fee, plus a convenience fee.
Another option is to get a copy of your report sent to you by mail. You can mail the forms and fee amount to Florida’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, contact a reputable St. Petersburg car accident lawyer for help.
Contact the Pinellas County Car Accident Law Firm Of Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers for Help
For more information, please contact the Clearwater and St. Petersburg car accident law firm of Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We serve in Pinellas County, and its surrounding areas:
Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater
1875 N Belcher Rd. STE 201,
Clearwater, FL 33765,
Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers – St. Petersburg
2560 1st Ave S,
St. Petersburg, FL 33712,