401 W. Linton Blvd. Delray Beach, FL 33444

AccidentsFlorida Crash Reports: Requirements, Discrepancies and How to Obtain

Florida crash report

PORCARO LAW: Florida Crash Reports: Requirements, Discrepancies and How to Obtain

Looking to recover damages from a recent car accident? Before you can file a claim with the insurance company, there is one piece of information you’ll need to effectuate the process — a Florida crash report. This document details pertinent information in regard to your car accident, including dates, names, property damage and more. At Porcaro Law Group, we are ready to help you obtain your Florida crash report so you can receive the compensation you deserve. Call us today for a free case review and speak with an experienced personal injury attorney about your claim.

How to report details after a car crash

The best time to report a crash is at the scene of the accident. This ensures the most accurate depiction of the accident is put on record. If involved parties are injured or damages exceed $500 in costs, drivers are required to call 911 under Florida law. Upon arrival, the police officer will jot down key information surrounding your case, including total damages, injuries, and personal identification. For accident victims who don’t report the crash to law enforcement on the day of the accident, you have up to 10 days to  complete the process. 

Are accident reports required?

In most cases, you are required to file a car accident report with law enforcement at the scene or within 10 days of the crash. With specific regard to Florida law, accident victims are legally required to report a crash if there are bodily injuries involved or the crash resulted in a person’s death. Other qualifying circumstances include a hit-and-run scenario or property damage that results in total accident loss, meaning the vehicle is no longer drivable. Though  “minor” accidents, such as fender benders and cosmetic damages, do not warrant a police report, it’s generally recommended by car accident attorneys for you to still report the damage. If you plan on filing an insurance claim, you’ll need the accident on record.  

If you’re uncertain about the extent of your injuries, we encourage you to seek medical attention immediately to confirm your condition. Sometimes underlying injuries may be present that could lead to medical costs or pain and suffering down the road.   

What if the police report contains errors?

Once you receive the crash report, it’s important to fact check the information. Carefully review the full report, making sure that every section is filled out correctly. Is the date, time, and location of the crash accurate? Are the police officer’s comments congruent with the damages? Considering the police report contains personal and time-sensitive information, there is a possibility for errors to occur. 

Every accident victim should check that the report includes:

  • Names, addresses, and phone numbers of involved parties
  • Driver licenses, insurance policies, and VINs (vehicle identification numbers)
  • Scope of injuries and property damage resulting from the crash
  • Vehicle details, such as make, year, and model
  • Issued citations at the time of the crash

How to get a Florida crash report

Fortunately, it’s exceptionally easy to access your Florida crash report if you have the right information on hand. With that said, the process can vary depending on which agency filed your report. In most circumstances, you’ll want to have the case number, date and time of the accident, location, and the name of one or more drivers involved in the crash to successfully obtain your car accident report. Many times, the police officer on scene will leave you with the right resources on how to retrieve the information after the report is processed. 

Vehicle values post-car crash

One of the hardest aspects of being involved in a car accident in South Florida is the lasting effects that linger in the weeks and months that follow. From mental stress to loss of income, there are a number of damages that can impact your quality of life. As personal injury attorneys, we handle claims focused on personal injury in addition to the physical damage of your car. In some cases, the damage to your car is so extensive that it puts an adverse effect on the resale value of your vehicle. This is generally when a diminished value claim is pursued.  

Diminished value Florida law

Florida law establishes that drivers are able to pursue financial compensation for the diminished value of their motor vehicle. In a diminished value claim, your personal injury attorney will demonstrate a loss of equity by detailing the closest estimate to your pre-crash value in comparison to your car’s worth after the crash. For drivers looking to file this type of claim, you will need substantial evidence that helps corroborate your case. 

How to prove diminished value in Florida

Because it’s often tricky to establish the pre-crash value of your car, diminished value claims are notoriously challenging to prove. Yet with the right attorney on your side, you have a greater chance of a successful claim. Documentation is typically the key component to winning these types of cases. Any files that show the pre-crash value of your vehicle as well as photo evidence of damages sustained from the crash are helpful in proving the affected market value. 

Accident total loss

In the state of Florida, the total loss threshold is 80%. Any vehicle that requires repairs exceeding 80% of the actual cash value is deemed a total loss. That means, your car is beyond repair, and in most cases, not drivable. Though you may expect the insurance company to pay you a fair price for your damaged vehicle, that’s not always the case. A diminished value attorney in Florida can help you negotiate a higher price that is comparable to the actual total loss. 

Who to contact after claim

Injured in a car accident and don’t know where to turn? You need the right personal injury attorney on your side. After filing your car accident with local law enforcement, the next step involves seeking compensation through insurance. In order to do this, you must have your car accident claim submitted within 10 days from the date of the accident, according to Florida Statutes 316.066. The insurance claim must also be filed within 4 years from the accident to legally pursue compensation.  Having a reputable attorney handling your case will ensure your interests are best protected from deep-pocketed insurers and guarantee you get it filed on time. 

The legal team at Porcaro Law Group is committed to helping car accident victims, including those who experience accident total loss in a diminished value claim. Through tactful negotiations and years of experience, our Delray Beach personal injury lawyers maintain an excellent reputation in the area, with:  

  • $15+ million recovered to date 
  • No fees unless we win
  • Community commitment outside the courtroom
  • We’re here for you and available to answer any questions you may have! 

Contact Porcaro Law Group today!

The Porcaro Law Group puts our experience and resources to use to help crash victims build a strong case against insurers. Because car accident claims, particularly diminished value under Florida law, can be challenging to handle, we strive to make the process easy for you. If you need help accessing your car accident report in Florida, call us today to discuss the details of your case. 


What is the typical charge for a diminished value claim in Florida?

In general, insurers will compensate no more than 10 percent of the initial value of the car. Using a formula called 17c, a diminished value claim  is calculated by taking the 10 percent book value and applying a multiplier hinged on the damages and mileage at the time of the accident. 

Should I use an attorney to claim diminished value in Florida?

Having an experienced attorney as your advocate provides the best chance of winning a diminished value claim. Due to the complexities of placing a fair, pre-crash value on your vehicle, you’ll require the help of a diminished value attorney in Florida to represent your case. 

Are accident reports required after a car crash in Florida?

Florida law does not require motorists to report every accident. Minor collisions or fender benders are common exceptions. However, drivers do need to report a car crash if the accident results in bodily injuries or death to a person. You are given 10 days from the date of the accident to notify local law enforcement.  

How do I look up an accident report in Florida?

The easiest way to look up or obtain an accident report in Florida is by visiting the Florida Crash Portal on the FLHSMV website. There you can enter your report number, if available, and pay the $10 fee per report plus $2 convenience fee for your transaction. Once the report is purchased, you have 48 hours to download the crash report from your email. Keep in mind, Florida crash reports may take up to 10 days to become available. 

How do I get a Florida Highway Patrol accident report?

FLHSMV offers a new online portal that makes obtaining crash records an easy task. If interested, you have the option to purchase up to 10 reports per transaction. To receive a crash report by mail or in-person, customers must complete a Sworn Statement to Obtain Crash Report as well as send payment to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. The processing time to receive the record typically takes 4-6 weeks. 

How do I find out about local car accidents?

Florida Highway Patrol provides a Live Traffic Crash and Condition Report for those concerned with the latest updates. It is updated every 5 minutes, however, the report does not disclose personal information. According to Section 316.066, Florida Statutes, written reports of crashes are kept confidential to protect the privacy of accident victims and to deter the filing of fraudulent claims. This information remains exempt from public disclosure for 60 days from the date the claim is filed. For persons involved in the crash or other parties in relation to the accident victims, crash reports are available by request.

Call Now Button

Camp Lejeune Lawsuit

Were you stationed at Camp Lejeune between 1953-1987? Contact the attorneys at Porcaro Law Group immediately to discuss your legal options.