Were you involved in a car accident in Tampa or somewhere else in Hillsborough County, Florida? If the damage was significant or someone suffered injuries, you most likely called the police. They probably dispatched a team to investigate the accident and prepare a police accident report. That report will determine the outcome of your compensation claim, so be sure to obtain a copy.
Also, do not hesitate to contact a Tampa car accident attorney as soon as possible. If you have it, take the report with you when attending the first consultation. If you do not have it, obtaining it will be mere routine for any car accident lawyer in Tampa. We will also teach you how to obtain it yourself in the following lines.
Why is the Police Accident Report So Important for Your Tampa Car Accident Claim?
Florida is a “no-fault” state. This means that in most accident cases, drivers recover their losses from their own insurer. They can also sue the party at fault in cases involving gross negligence and severe or permanent injuries. Regardless of whom they seek compensation from, accident victims will need supporting evidence.
They will need to show:
- When, where, and how the accident occurred
- Who was involved in the accident and who was at fault
- What injuries and losses the accident caused and how much these were/are worth
Most of this information is usually available in the Tampa police accident report. The report is not the only evidence a claimant can use. However, it is a great starting point for most cases. It is actually the first document a Tampa car accident attorney will want to see. If the client has not obtained it yet, the lawyer can request it.
From the report, they will get names, addresses, registration numbers, insurance statuses, and more. These details will help them assess their client’s situation and find further evidence to support their case. They may return to the accident scene to find nearby cameras that could have recorded the event. They may contact potential witnesses to obtain their testimonies.
There are many other things with which the police accident report may help. They become apparent when you review the requirements of Florida Statute, Section 316.066. Given the circumstances, if you have not obtained a copy of the report yet, you should, as soon as possible. We will teach you how in the following lines.
How You or Your Tampa Car Accident Attorney Can Obtain a Copy of Your Police Accident Report
The easiest way to obtain accident reports is to submit a Traffic Accident Report Request online. This option is available for accidents older than 60 days but which occurred after 2007. In order to obtain a police accident report before the 60-day deadline, you will have to submit:
- Photo identification
- Proof that you are a party, a legal representative, or an insurer involved in the crash
- A statement not to use the report for commercial solicitation before the 60 days deadline
The request form covers data like:
- Year of the report
- Number of the report
- Accident location
- Name of the victim or complainant
In order to actually obtain the copy of the police accident report, you will need to pay a fee of $2. Another solution to obtain the report is to request it in person at 411 N. Franklin St. The fee reflects the number of pages. The price per page is of $0.15 for single-sided prints and $0.20 for double-sided prints.
As mentioned above, the content of the report can influence the outcome of your compensation claim. However, it is not a deal breaker. The police officer who filed it may have missed or misinterpreted some details. Just because the report does not reflect your side of the story does not mean you should give up. A Tampa car accident attorney may succeed in proving otherwise and obtain the compensation you deserve.
Schedule a Consultation with an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in Tampa, FL
If you have not yet obtained your police accident report or you don’t understand it, we can help. With Burnetti, P.A., you benefit from a free preliminary consultation, so you have nothing to lose. You only pay for our services when and if we win.
Call our office at 1-888-287-6388 and schedule a consultation with your Tampa car accident attorney! You will receive all the answers and advice you need, no strings attached!