The Role of the Police Report in Tampa Auto Accident Cases

Recovering damages after an auto accident that was not your fault starts with the initial consultation with an experienced Tampa car crash lawyer. However, you will also need to provide the lawyer with evidence, especially the police report.

Let us explain why this report is so important for winning your Tampa car accident claim.

1. It Proves You Obeyed Your Legal Obligation to Report the Crash

Florida law states that drivers are obliged to report any traffic accident resulting in bodily injury or death and/or at least $500 in property damage. These specific details cover most crashes.

The existence of the police report shows that you were a diligent and law-abiding driver. This will work even more to your advantage if the other driver does not stick around until the officers arrive to investigate the crash. Leaving the accident scene before the investigation equals committing the offense of hit and run.

2. The Police Report Helps Determine Fault

Police officers are experienced in determining the circumstances of an accident by examining the crash scene. They analyze aspects such as:

  • The position of the vehicles after the collision
  • The existence of skid marks
  • The traffic signs and signals in the areas
  • The results of the Breathalyzer test for both drivers.

Since the state of Florida now uses a comparative negligence principle, proving the other driver’s fault is essential. Under the new law, only the party who is 50% or less at fault for an accident has the right to recover damages.

3. The Accident Report Will Prove the Extent of Your Property Damage

One of the sections of the police report describes in great detail the damages to both vehicles. The section also contains a car diagram, where the police officers will mark the visible damages.

Together with the estimate issued by a car repair shop, this report will help your Tampa car accident attorney evaluate and prove your property damage. This is a significant part of your economic damages, especially if your car was new.

Also, insurance adjusters are notorious for estimating a low value for your wrecked car – far below its fair market value. Thus, any piece of evidence is helpful if you want to get fair compensation.

police report

4. The Report Proves Causation

Although the police officers do not provide any medical information in their report, they will note the general appearance and conduct of all drivers involved in the crash. For instance, the police report may state that your clothes were torn and you were bleeding.

Moreover, since the police report contains the place, date, and time of the crash, your lawyer can easily corroborate it with the medical report issued by the ER or hospital where you received treatment for your injuries. This is yet another reason to seek medical care as soon as possible after your crash.

5. It Is an Objective Piece of Evidence

Finally, the police officers cannot be suspected of favoring any of the parties. This is extremely important when the only available eyewitnesses to the crash are friends or family members who were traveling as passengers in your car.

Even the most skilled adjuster cannot find fault with the opinions included in a police report. Thus, this is the single most valuable piece of evidence you need to win your case.

How to Obtain the Police Report after a Car Accident in Tampa

You can easily request a copy of your accident report online. You can either create an account on the City of Tampa’s official website or request the report anonymously. In the second situation, you will need to input the Reference Number of the report provided by the police officers at the accident scene.

Bring Your Evidence to an Experienced Tampa Car Wreck Lawyer!

One of the most important pieces of evidence you need to win a car accident claim is the police report. Make sure to get your copy and bring it together with any other evidence you have to an experienced Tampa car wreck lawyer at our firm.

The attorney will analyze all the documents and explain your legal rights in clear terms. If you have a valid claim, we will represent you on a contingency fee basis. This means that we will only get paid when we win your case, out of your settlement amount

We offer each new client a free case review, so call us today at 954-448-7355!

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