If you’ve been involved in an auto accident in Florida, you are entitled to a copy of the official police report, regardless of who was at fault.
You will need to have some information in order to locate your report. This may include:
- The case number
- Time and date of the accident
- Location of the car accident
- The name of one or more of the drivers involved
Although you do not need to have all of this information on hand, having the majority of it will help speed up the process of finding the correct report and obtaining your copy.
Florida’s Law on Auto Accident Reports
According to Florida law for Motor Vehicles Statute 316.065, you must report your auto accident to the police if:
- any death or injury occurred;
- it was a hit and run accident;
- it was an accident caused by an intoxicated driver; or
- there was property damage of $500 or more.
A police officer will arrive at the scene, conduct an investigation, and get basic information from the parties involved and passengers. The officer will take down personal information, including car insurance information.
The officer will give the parties a case card or a drivers exchange. Within a week the officer will write an official police report, which generally includes detailed notes about the facts of the accident. However, if the accident involved a fatality, a homicide report or official police report could take months.
Police reports typically indicate which party was at fault, so getting your own copy is an important step in protecting your rights (as well as your financial interests) in the aftermath of an auto accident.
Police don’t always provide instructions for accessing a copy of the report, so we’ve put together this helpful guide for car accident victims who need to know how to obtain a car accident report in Miami, Florida.
Miami Auto Accident? Contact the Police Department
The easiest way to get your accident report is to simply ask the people who made it — the police.
Assuming your crash happened in Miami, you will probably need to contact the Miami Police Department. You can make a formal request in person or through the mail using the following address:
Miami Police Department
400 NW 2nd Ave.
Miami, FL 33128
The Miami Police Department Records Unit is open to the public weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., with the exception of Wednesdays and holidays, when their office is closed. It’s a good idea to call in advance to confirm that the report is ready.
Alternatively, if it was the Miami-Dade Police Department that responded to your accident, you will need to use their online traffic crash records retrieval service or visit the Central Records Bureau’s public counter in the Fred Taylor Building in Doral, Florida. That address is as follows:
Central Records Bureau
9105 NW 25 Street
Doral, FL 33172
The Central Records Bureau is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., excluding holidays. Reports are available soon after the accident for those involved and after 60 days for everyone else. Small fees may apply.
Who Can Request a Car Accident Report in Florida?
Records are available within 7-10 business days after the accident, but only to those who were actually involved in the incident. Members of the general public will need to wait 60 days. The department may charge a very small fee for copies of the report.
For Auto Accidents Outside of Miami
The Miami metro is very large and includes additional law enforcement agencies. If a department other than the City of Miami Police or Miami-Dade Police handled your crash, you can contact the police department directly and ask for their records office. Alternatively, many police departments offer records instructions on their own websites. This is true throughout most of Florida.
An Even Easier Option (for Miami and Everywhere Else in Florida)
This is the 21st Century, of course, and contacting your local police department for paper reports — while usually effective — does strike many people as old-fashioned. Accordingly, the State of Florida partnered with BuyCrash.com in 2012 to make traffic accident reports available for purchase online with just a few clicks. More than 150 law enforcement agencies throughout Florida send their reports to BuyCrash.com.
Accident reports obtained from BuyCrash.com may carry a slightly larger fee than those obtained directly from the local police, and the reports sometimes take longer to appear online. If you’ve been trying to figure out how to obtain a car accident report in Florida, though, and haven’t had luck elsewhere, BuyCrash.com has proven to be a popular resource for hundreds of thousands of Floridians.
Get Help from Our Accident Attorneys
If you’ve been involved in an auto accident in Miami, you need a lot more than just the police report. The long-term costs of an accident injury are almost always much greater than the victims realize at first.
At Kaire & Heffernan, LLC, our experienced Miami auto accident attorneys can help you recover financial compensation for your past and future damages without any upfront cost or hassle for you. We can even obtain the car accident report for you. Please contact our office for a free consultation to get started today.