There are two ways of obtaining a car accident report in Tampa, you can either request the report on your own or get it through your lawyer:
1. Requesting the Accident Report on Your Own
You can obtain a copy of a car accident report in-person or by mail without any. According to Florida Statute Section 316.066, you need the following documents to be able to access your crash report within 60 days from the date of the accident:
- Copy of your identification card if you're requesting the report by mail or the physical identification card if in person
- Proof that you are legally exempt from the Florida law that bans releasing crash reports after 10 days of an investigation being completed by the law enforcement officer
- A sworn statement that you will not use the crash report for commercial solicitation up until 60 days have passed
Remember, it's a third-degree felony if you are not exempt and obtain a crash report in Tampa before 60 days have passed.
2. Get an Accident Report Through Your Lawyer
According to Florida statutes, car accident reports are exempt from public exposure for a minimum of 60 days. So, if the 60 days have not elapsed since the date of the accident, only the victims of the accident, certified media personnel, your car crash attorney, and the insurer have authority to obtain the crash reports. If you have enlisted the services of a lawyer after the accident, they will pursue the car accident report on your behalf.
Getting Your Accident on Record
The majority of states require that accident victims call the police immediately after an accident. Whether or not the aforementioned is law in your state, it's always in your best interest to contact the police. The police will investigate the scene and record eyewitness statements, take pictures where needed and then draft a car accident report with all the said information. If you want to file a compensation claim, the police report goes a long way to corroborate your story.
What's the Process of Obtaining a Car Accident Report in Tampa?
You can obtain a car accident report several ways - in person, through the official Tampa government portal, or via mail. No matter which one of these processes you choose to utilize, make sure to save your receipts as proof of these expenses in your claim.
If you want to ask for a copy of your police request in person, you can do so at this location:
Tampa Police Headquarters, Records Station
One Police Center
411 N. Franklin Street
Tampa, Florida 33602
The offices are open Monday to Friday, from 8 am to 4 pm. You will need to bring all the necessary documents with you at the time, so call ahead.
You don't have to go to the Tampa police headquarters in person to obtain your crash report. Alternatively, you can always mail a request to their offices. The mailing address is:
Tampa Police Department Headquarters
Attn: Records Section
411 N. Franklin Street
Tampa, Florida 33602
This option will cost you about $2, which you'll pay through the official payment portal and then include a printed copy of a receipt in your mail. Non-government online delivery services are charged separately depending on the service you want to use. Additionally, don't forget to include all the necessary documents, such as your identification card, the report number, the day the crash happened, and a return address where you want your mail to be returned.
Through Government Portal
The final option you can choose to obtain a car accident crash report is by placing a request on the official Tampa government website.
- Fill in the Traffic Accident Report Request.
- Pay $2 to place the request—all payment details are on the official website.
- If the crash happened before 1/1/2007, you need to obtain the report from the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles' official site.
How Long to Obtain a Car Accident Report?
The length of time it takes to obtain a car accident report depends on the type of report you want. There are two types of accident reports, short-form and long-form:
- The long-form may take at least two weeks to be prepared from the day you requested it. It's typically created if the accident results in a fatality or serious injuries.
- The short-form police reports are generated at least five days from the day of the accident. They are generally created if the accident resulted in minor injuries.
Contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers
If you were injured in a car accident because of someone else's negligence, it's your right to sue for a settlement to cover your injuries and damages. Consider hiring a personal injury lawyer to handle all the legal aspects on your behalf. Contact the Dolman Law Group today for a free consultation to discuss your case details.