Florida's Accident Report Privilege
Posted By Garrett Riley || Aug 9, 2013
In order to promote honesty in reporting accidents and relaying important information as to how the accident happened to the police, Florida has enacted Florida Statute 316.066(4), commonly known as the accident report privilege. Per this statute, accident reports are not admissible as evidence in any trial, whether criminal or civil. Additionally, any statements made by those involved in the accident to the police officer investigating the accident are inadmissible. The policy behind this law is to promote truthfulness in reporting accidents to the police without any prejudice and also to benefit the public by collecting relevant information and statistics on persons involved in accidents that can assist the State of Florida in making our roads safer.
The accident report privilege does not apply to eyewitnesses that were not involved in the accident. The accident report privilege does not apply to sobriety tests, breath, or blood tests because the privilege does not protect findings and statements made in criminal or homicide investigation reports. In fact, it is not unusual for a police officer to make it clear to a person involved in an accident that they have finished their accident investigation and are beginning a criminal investigation, which helps delineate between the officer’s duty to investigate the accident and the duty to pursue any evidence or statements regarding criminal activity. While accident reports and statements made during an accident investigation may not be admissible in court, other evidence such as your testimony regarding the accident, witness statements, skid marks, the resting places of the vehicles, the points of impact of the vehicles, and other physical findings are admissible to help prove your case. If you’ve been injured in accident, call the personal injury attorneys at Givens Givens Sparks for a free case evaluation and detailed discussion regarding your rights.