Auto Accident Reports in Florida
AUTO ACCIDENT REPORTS IN FLORIDA:
The following is a brief summary Florida's Statutes, Case Law and other information about Auto Accident Reports:
10. FLORIDA STATUTES:
Chapter 316 Motor Vehicles – State Uniform Traffic Control:
316.066 Written reports of crashes.— (1) The driver of a vehicle which is in any manner involved in a crash resulting in bodily injury to or death of any person or damage to any vehicle or other property in an apparent amount of at least $500 shall, within 10 days after the crash, forward a written report of such crash to the department or traffic records center. However, when the investigating officer has made a written report of the crash pursuant to subsection (3), no written report need be forwarded to the department or traffic records center by the driver.
(2) The receiving entity may require any driver of a vehicle involved in a crash of which a written report must be made as provided in this section to file supplemental written reports whenever the original report is insufficient in the opinion of the department and may require witnesses of crashes to render reports to the department.
(3)(a) Every law enforcement officer who in the regular course of duty investigates a motor vehicle crash:
1. Which crash resulted in death or personal injury shall, within 10 days after completing the investigation, forward a written report of the crash to the department or traffic records center.
2. Which crash involved a violation of s. 316.061(1) or s. 316.193 shall, within 10 days after completing the investigation, forward a written report of the crash to the department or traffic records center.
3. In which crash a vehicle was rendered inoperative to a degree which required a wrecker to remove it from traffic may, within 10 days after completing the investigation, forward a written report of the crash to the department or traffic records center if such action is appropriate, in the officer's discretion.
(b) In every case in which a crash report is required by this section and a written report to a law enforcement officer is not prepared, the law enforcement officer shall provide each party involved in the crash a short-form report, prescribed by the state, to be completed by the party. The short-form report must include:
1. The date, time, and location of the crash;
2. A description of the vehicles involved;
3. The names and addresses of the parties involved;
4. The names and addresses of witnesses;
5. The name, badge number, and law enforcement agency of the officer investigating the crash; and
6. The names of the insurance companies for the respective parties involved in the crash.
(c) Each party to the crash shall provide the law enforcement officer with proof of insurance to be included in the crash report. If a law enforcement officer submits a report on the accident, proof of insurance must be provided to the officer by each party involved in the crash. Any party who fails to provide the required information is guilty of an infraction for a nonmoving violation, punishable as provided in chapter 318 unless the officer determines that due to injuries or other special circumstances such insurance information cannot be provided immediately. If the person provides the law enforcement agency, within 24 hours after the crash, proof of insurance that was valid at the time of the crash, the law enforcement agency may void the citation.
(4)(a) One or more counties may enter into an agreement with the appropriate state agency to be certified by the agency to have a traffic records center for the purpose of tabulating and analyzing countywide traffic crash reports. The agreement must include: certification by the agency that the center has adequate auditing and monitoring mechanisms in place to ensure the quality and accuracy of the data; the time period in which the traffic records center must report crash data to the agency; and the medium in which the traffic records must be submitted to the agency.
(b) In the case of a county or multicounty area that has a certified central traffic records center, a law enforcement agency or driver must submit to the center within the time limit prescribed in this section a written report of the crash. A driver who is required to file a crash report must be notified of the proper place to submit the completed report.
(c) Fees for copies of public records provided by a certified traffic records center shall be charged and collected as follows: For a crash report ………… $10 per copy. For a homicide report ………… $25 per copy.For a uniform traffic citation ………… $0.50 per copy. The fees collected for copies of the public records provided by a certified traffic records center shall be used to fund the center or otherwise as designated by the county or counties participating in the center.
(5)(a) Crash reports that reveal the identity, home or employment telephone number or home or employment address of, or other personal information concerning the parties involved in the crash and that are held by any agency that regularly receives or prepares information from or concerning the parties to motor vehicle crashes are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution for a period of 60 days after the date the report is filed.
(b) Crash reports held by an agency under paragraph (a) may be made immediately available to the parties involved in the crash, their legal representatives, their licensed insurance agents, their insurers or insurers to which they have applied for coverage, persons under contract with such insurers to provide claims or underwriting information, prosecutorial authorities, victim services programs, radio and television stations licensed by the Federal Communications Commission, newspapers qualified to publish legal notices under ss. 50.011 and 50.031, and free newspapers of general circulation, published once a week or more often, available and of interest to the public generally for the dissemination of news. For the purposes of this section, the following products or publications are not newspapers as referred to in this section: those intended primarily for members of a particular profession or occupational group; those with the primary purpose of distributing advertising; and those with the primary purpose of publishing names and other personal identifying information concerning parties to motor vehicle crashes.
(c) Any local, state, or federal agency that is authorized to have access to crash reports by any provision of law shall be granted such access in the furtherance of the agency's statutory duties.
(d) As a condition precedent to accessing a crash report within 60 days after the date the report is filed, a person must present a valid driver's license or other photographic identification, proof of status, or identification that demonstrates his or her qualifications to access that information, and file a written sworn statement with the state or local agency in possession of the information stating that information from a crash report made confidential and exempt by this section will not be used for any commercial solicitation of accident victims, or knowingly disclosed to any third party for the purpose of such solicitation, during the period of time that the information remains confidential and exempt. In lieu of requiring the written sworn statement, an agency may provide crash reports by electronic means to third-party vendors under contract with one or more insurers, but only when such contract states that information from a crash report made confidential and exempt by this section will not be used for any commercial solicitation of accident victims by the vendors, or knowingly disclosed by the vendors to any third party for the purpose of such solicitation, during the period of time that the information remains confidential and exempt, and only when a copy of such contract is furnished to the agency as proof of the vendor's claimed status.
(e) This subsection does not prevent the dissemination or publication of news to the general public by any legitimate media entitled to access confidential and exempt information pursuant to this section.
(6)(a) Any driver failing to file the written report required under subsection (1) or subsection (2) commits a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a nonmoving violation as provided in chapter 318.
(b) Any employee of a state or local agency in possession of information made confidential and exempt by this section who knowingly discloses such confidential and exempt information to a person not entitled to access such information under this section is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(c) Any person, knowing that he or she is not entitled to obtain information made confidential and exempt by this section, who obtains or attempts to obtain such information is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(d) Any person who knowingly uses confidential and exempt information in violation of a filed written sworn statement or contractual agreement required by this section commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(7) Except as specified in this subsection, each crash report made by a person involved in a crash and any statement made by such person to a law enforcement officer for the purpose of completing a crash report required by this section shall be without prejudice to the individual so reporting. No such report or statement shall be used as evidence in any trial, civil or criminal. However, subject to the applicable rules of evidence, a law enforcement officer at a criminal trial may testify as to any statement made to the officer by the person involved in the crash if that person's privilege against self-incrimination is not violated. The results of breath, urine, and blood tests administered as provided in s. 316.1932 or s. 316.1933 are not confidential and shall be admissible into evidence in accordance with the provisions of s. 316.1934(2). Crash reports made by persons involved in crashes shall not be used for commercial solicitation purposes; however, the use of a crash report for purposes of publication in a newspaper or other news periodical or a radio or television broadcast shall not be construed as "commercial purpose."
(8) A law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(1), may enforce this section.
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