Accidents are unplanned. However, when you get involved in one, you must plan your next steps carefully. And one of the first steps you need to take is obtaining a crash report.
As a Tampa resident, what can you do with your Tampa crash report?
Before we answer that question, let’s first get the basics cleared.
What is a Crash Report (And How Do You Obtain One)?
A crash report (also called a car accident report) summarizes the information surrounding a motor vehicle accident and all the people involved. The Florida highway patrol (FHP) officer who attends to the accident scene generates crash reports in Tampa. Your Florida highway patrol accident report will contain information such as:
- The facts related to the accident (vehicles involved and all occupants).
- Eyewitness accounts.
- The investigating officer’s opinion.
- Any injuries to people and damage to vehicles.
The crash report will be filed with the state about a week after the accident. You can obtain your copy of the crash report from the main police office in person, by mail, or by using a service like Auto Accident Report.
4 Things You Can Do With Your Tampa Crash Report
A crash report is one of the most important documents you must obtain after being involved in an accident. Every accident-related step you take hinges on it. Here are three common examples of what you can do with your FHP crash report:
1. File a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If the other driver involved in the accident was at fault, you could use your crash report to file a personal injury lawsuit. In such a case, you’re entitled by law to recover damages from the negligent party. You can use the crash report as evidence of the other driver’s negligence.
If you don’t have an attorney, we can help put you in touch with one who can help you build a case and help you claim any compensation due to you. Not only is this service free, but you also get a free consultation if you choose to use one of the attorneys we’ve partnered with.
One of the first things your attorney will do is review the police report to make sure it is accurate. If they find any inaccuracies, they will advocate on your behalf to ensure they are rectified.
2. Claim Insurance
One of the most common uses of crash reports is to facilitate insurance claims. When you file for an insurance claim after an accident, your insurance company will conduct its own investigation. As part of their investigations, one of the first things they’ll look at is the FHP crash report. This is because it contains a lot of vital information from a reputable source.
There are times, however, when the other driver’s insurance company may still deny your insurance claim despite the accident report being in your favor. In such cases, you may need other forms of evidence to bolster your claim. Examples of such evidence include photographs, videos, or eyewitness accounts. However, the crash report is usually a key piece of evidence that goes a long way in helping ensure your insurance claims are successful.
3. Proof of Accident Related Injuries
If you’ve suffered injuries in an accident, your Tampa, Fl accident report will come in handy when you need to prove that you sustained your injuries in an accident.
Most accident victims suffer shock that makes them unable to fully grasp the extent of their injuries. The officer attending the scene of the accident will document all visible injuries in the accident report. Examples of injuries that can be documented include:
- Head, neck, spine, and back injuries.
- Whiplash-related injuries.
- Lacerations or broken bones.
This information is beneficial as it will serve as evidence of injuries sustained during the accident. Even if you may not be able to recall how you felt immediately after the accident, the crash report will provide the information you need to claim damages.
If you sustained injuries in an accident and need to talk to a medical professional to advise on the injuries recorded, our platform facilitates that too. You can get access to medical professionals in your area with a few clicks of a button.
4. Protect Yourself from False Claims
Not everyone values honesty. For some reason, some drivers involved in a car crash will do everything in their power to shift the blame on you — even if they know they’re at fault.
This is where a crash report will come to your rescue. Because it contains information from the attending officer, eyewitnesses, and all other parties involved, you can use it to defend yourself against any false claims made by the other driver. Being an official document, it carries more weight than the opinions of both drivers. And if the other driver wishes to dispute the claims of the report, they’ll need concrete evidence to do so.
Getting Your Tampa Crash Report — Don’t Wait Till It’s Too Late
One mistake many accident victims make is to wait to get their accident report until they really need it. Doing so only puts you under pressure. Make sure you start the process of getting your crash report as soon as possible — whether you need it or not. In most cases, you will need one to get the incident behind you, so getting one is almost compulsory.
If you’ve been involved in an accident in Tampa, Fl, you can start the process of obtaining your crash report here.