Leesburg-Villages car accident lawyer, Guy S.
DiMartino, discusses the Florida Accident Report privilege.
This is the typical story. A client comes in and says there shouldn't be a problem with determining fault for their car accident because the other driver told the police officer that it was his fault. The client then pulls out the accident report and says here look – it's in quotes “Driver 1 says he was a fault for the accident.”
A few weeks go by and we receive a call from the insurance adjuster and the adjuster says that they are denying responsibility. So we decide the file a lawsuit. The client asks if we can show the accident report to the other driver and ask why he said that he was at fault to the police officer – I say no. The client then asks, can we take the deposition of the police officer and ask him what the other driver says – I say no. The client is getting frustrated with me. I explain to the client that information in a Florida accident report is considered privileged in civil matters.
Florida accident report privilege
The accident report privilege prohibits the use of the Florida crash reports or any statements made to law enforcement who is investigating the crash. The purpose behind the privilege is the state wants folks to be open and honest to law enforcement who are investigating what happened in the accident without the threat of anything that they say – can be used against them in a lawsuit.
So we will not be able to prove fault for the accident using the Florida accident report or any statements made by the other driver that are written in the report.
Florida car accident law can be complex. If you have any questions about a car accident claim, you can call me directly on my cell at (352) 267-9168 or fill out the internet consultation form on the right hand side of the screen.