If you’re in a car accident and Florida, you will probably need a crash report. In many cases, the report comes from Florida Highway Patrol. But how do you make sense of your report once you have a copy?

Below, our team explains the key points about interpreting any FHP accident report.

What Is a Florida Highway Patrol Crash Report?

A Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) crash report is a legal document. It sets out the circumstances of a car accident in FL. It describes what allegedly happened to cause the crash. As such, it is a key piece of evidence in any civil negligence or insurance claim.

When you receive your report, your first step is to check for errors. Any errors or omissions, however minor they seem, could affect your claim.

Contents of FHP Accident Reports

We’ll cover how to interpret FHP accident reports below. But briefly, every FL Highway Patrol crash report includes the following information:

  • Date, time, and location of the accident
  • Driver personal details
  • Insurance information
  • Passenger details
  • Officer’s narrative of events
  • Property damage
  • Personal injuries or fatalities
  • Citations issued at the scene
  • Road hazards/road conditions at the time of the accident

This may seem like a lot of information, but don’t worry! Accident reports are only a few pages long and they’re simple enough to understand.

Guide to Interpreting Your FHP Accident Report

Every accident report has various codes and sections reserved for officials, or very specific types of crashes. The key sections you should know about when reading your accident report are as follows.

Basic Accident Information

Page one contains various basic details, such as the:

  • Incident number
  • Crash date
  • Time of crash

It also contains information such as which road the accident occurred on, the type of road e.g. local or interstate, and whether there was an intersection involved.

Crash Information

The next section has checkboxes for the officer to complete pertaining to the crash. Information they must confirm includes;

  • Whether there are crash scene pictures
  • Light, weather, and road surface conditions
  • Collision type e.g. sideswipe, head-on collision
  • Contributing factors e.g. road debris, construction works

The information in this section can affect liability in injury and insurance claims. Accuracy is crucial.

Witness Information

There are often witnesses to the crash. If present, witness details are included in this section. They may be called upon to testify later.

Vehicle Details

Page two describes the type of vehicle(s) involved in the crash and whether there are commercial vehicles present. If there are commercial vehicles involved, you may have a claim against the driver’s employer, depending on the facts. Your attorney can explain how such lawsuits work if it’s helpful to your case.


The officer must confirm if they issued citations at the scene such as for driving under the influence (DUI). Hit and run incidents will also be documented.

Citations can help you prove fault for liability purposes in civil claims.

Driver Information

Next, every driver and passenger have their own section. This includes their personal details and other relevant factors such as:

  • Injuries
  • Actions at time of the crash e.g. distracted driving
  • Helmet use (if applicable)
  • Alcohol or drug testing (if required)

Investigating Officer’s Narrative

Finally, the officer sets out, in paragraph form, what appears to be the facts of the crash. Unless the officer witnessed the crash, this will be based on the evidence at the scene. But as with any evidence, it can be challenged if it doesn’t appear accurate.

Cars driving at night along busy highway in Miami beach Florida

Who Needs a FL Highway Patrol Accident Report?

You need a crash report from FL Highway Patrol if you have a crash and:

  • There are any injuries, however minor
  • There’s property damage worth at least $500
  • The crash occurred on a freeway or highway

Florida HP is solely responsible for handling crash reports in some counties. If in doubt, contact law enforcement and they’ll direct you to the right department. Should you require emergency responders, dial 911 in the first instance.

Benefits of FL Highway Patrol Crash Reports

Even if you don’t think you need a Florida Highway Patrol report, here’s why you should still get a copy.

  • The more evidence you can provide to support your accident claims, the easier it is to prove your losses.
  • A crash report can help to establish fault, which may help with personal injury claims settlement.
  • Your insurance company may settle your claim more efficiently if they have an FHP accident report.

These are just some of the benefits of having an accident report on record. So, give the FHP a call after a crash, even if you’re not sure if you need a report.

Are FHP Accident Reports Public Record?

No. According to Florida law, only certain parties have the right to access crash reports. These parties include:

  • Drivers involved in the crash
  • Any passengers or pedestrians involved in the accident
  • Attorneys representing parties involved in the crash
  • Insurance agents and underwriters

News outlets and radio stations may obtain limited access in some situations. However, accident reports are not usually a public record in FL.

If you’re injured in a car accident, these rules protect your privacy. However, they can also make it harder to find your report! But if you’re unsure how to find a crash report online, don’t worry – we can help.

How to Get a Copy of Your FL Highway Patrol Crash Report

You can approach Florida Highway Patrol for a copy of your FHP crash report. However, know that it’s not easy to find the right department or point of contact. And when you’re trying to file an insurance or personal injury claim, this is extra stress you don’t need right now.

If you have a personal injury or car accident lawyer, they can request a copy. However, the quickest way to find your report is to complete our short enquiry form. We only need a few details about the crash to promptly find your report and deliver the details to your inbox.

Locate Your Florida Highway Patrol Accident Report Now

At Auto Accident Reports, our team of experienced agents knows how to find any crash records online. Our locator form is free to use. And there’s no obligation to hire the attorneys or medical professionals we might recommend.

You have nothing to lose but everything to gain by using our search facility. Focus on your recovery and let us do the hard work for you. And we’re available 24/7 – we know that accidents and injury claims don’t wait for anyone. Get started today!