Can I use the accident report to prove my car accident claim? | Guy S. DiMartino DC, JD, PA

Q. I was injured in a car accident, and the accident report is on my side, can I use the accident report to prove the other driver is at fault?

A. The simple answer is no. But I want to be more complete. You cannot use the police (accident) report as evidence at trial to help prove your case. This is because Florida has an accident report privilege, which makes any statements that are said at the accident scene privileged.

The reason for the privilege is that the legislature wants drivers in accidents to be truthful with law enforcement investigating the crash without the hammer sitting over their heads that any statements can be used against them in a civil lawsuit.You will be able to use the police report when negotiating with the insurance adjuster and the insurance adjuster will look at the statements when making a determination of fault.

So there you have it. You can use the police report before a lawsuit to negotiate your claim, but you cannot use it in a lawsuit.