Florida’s Accident Report Privilege
So you’ve been in an accident and the other driver told the officer they were at fault. Now all you have to do is use that statement to prove your case, right? Wrong!
Florida’s Accident Report Privilege statute prevents any statements made by those required to interact with law enforcement after a crash from being used against them in a later civil or criminal proceeding. Persons covered are typically the driver and occupants of the vehicles involved in the crash. The privilege balances a person’s Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination with an officer’s obligation to learn about how the crash occurred. This privilege also prevents officers from later testifying how the crash happened if their knowledge comes solely from those required to speak with them.
Accident Report Privilege Limitations
If this privilege seems broad, it is intended to. However, it is only intended to cover statements by those required to interact with law enforcement. The privilege does not apply to witnesses or other persons who volunteer information to an investigating officer. It also may not extend to cover the results of blood alcohol, breath or urine tests.
This privilege only covers those statements made to law enforcement. If the at-fault driver tells you they are at fault, or you overhear them admitting fault to another witness or victim, the Accident Privilege may not apply in that scenario.
What Should You Do?
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle crash or as a pedestrian, be aware that the statements made by the at-fault driver to the investigating officer may be privileged. This includes admissions of fault for causing the crash. If they are privileged, they cannot be used later in court.
If there are eyewitnesses to the accident, obtain their name and contact information. Find out what they saw and whether they have spoken with the other driver. If so, find out what the other driver told them about the how the accident occurred.
Take photographs of the scene, including any skid marks or debris.
Take photographs of your visible injuries.
Get Your Free Attorney Case Review Today!
If you have been injured in a car accident or as a pedestrian, call 407.216.2000 or click HERE for a free attorney case review. I have helped hundreds of accident injury victims find their justice and I would be honored to help you as well.
Presser Law, P.A. is a Central Florida injury firm proudly serving all injury victims throughout Central Florida residents of Brevard County, Lake County, Osceola County, Orange County, Seminole County, and Volusia County.
Presser Law, P.A. was founded on the idea that injury victims deserve aggressive and straight forward representation to help them through some of their most difficult times. “Fighting for Justice. Fighting for You.” is more than a motto. It is our promise and reminder to our client’s that we will be with them, fighting to make sure they receive the compensation they deserve.
Justin Presser - author
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