Auto Accident Settlement
When you or your loved one is the victim of a traffic crash in Martin County, FL, your first call should be 9-1-1. The operator will determine your location and dispatch a law enforcement officer from the agency with jurisdiction — whether that be the Martin County Sheriff’s Office, a local police department, or the Florida Highway Patrol.
Once the scene is secure and all necessary medical responders have arrived, the investigating officer will compile a ‘police report’ which must be submitted to their department within 10 business days. Critical for personal injury claims, this document will record all involved party names along with their identification and insurance carriers. The officer will also list all injuries sustained (and by whom), record visible vehicle damage, and indicate the probable cause of the accident (given the available information).
Your next call should be to someone who will put the rights and needs of you and your family first. Bear in mind that discussing the accident with an insurance adjuster without legal advice may not be the best idea. A free consultation with a local Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd personal injury attorney comes with the advantage of over 35 years of established Treasure Coast practice. No deposits, no out-of-pocket payments because we are paid once a settlement is achieved.
As a public service Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd is proud to share this resource page with our local communities and visitors. Our hope is that we provide you with specific steps to acquire police reports for any Martin County traffic accidents. Also included are authority references for pertinent content.
Legal Parameters for Martin County Police Reports
First to adopt the Government-in-the-Sunshine Law in 1967, the state of Florida has become the benchmark for regulations that demand openness in government and business. Police report records in Martin County are a good example of how the Sunshine Law protects Florida citizens’ rights while improving public trust ‘through willing transparency.’
Section 316.066 of the Florida Statutes dictates the supervision, control, and appropriate release of law enforcement traffic crash reports. The following outline describes the 2-step process of these police reports, as they move from confidential status to open public records.
Confidential Period – First 60 Days
When a police report has been submitted to the law enforcement agency by its investigating officer, the 60-day confidentiality timeline starts. This custodial measure protects the privacy rights of ‘exempt parties,’ allowing them the time to assess the facts and implications in the report.
‘Exempt parties’ are defined as those persons directly involved in a traffic accident, along with their legal representative and an insurance carrier; and also certified media. Under this section, the request for a police report copy requires the valid photo ID of a party listed on the report.
The law enforcement agency generally requires a sworn statement, to be witnessed by a notary or law officer for additional proof of exemption. These affidavits include the promise that any requested documents will not be used for the solicitation of crash victims, nor be disclosed to a third-party for the same purpose.
Public Record – After 60 Days
According to Florida Law, once the 60-day confidentiality timeline has passed, police reports become ‘public record.’ They are now accessible by any party upon payment of the statutorily required fee of up to $10.00 per report. Public record requests for police reports do not require photo identification or sworn statements. You may access them online at the new Florida Crash Portal for an additional $2.00 transaction fee.
Martin County Law Enforcement Jurisdictions
Following a traffic accident, the investigating officer has up to 10 business days to turn it into their agency. After review and approval by their superior, the report is submitted to the records custodial department.
Browsing through the following 3 designated agencies will help to determine which one has jurisdiction over your accident location.
When a traffic crash takes place within ‘city limits’ the police department will have jurisdiction. Occasionally, a town will also have its own police department, as is the case with the Town of Sewall’s Point, and the Town of Jupiter. The City of Stuart occupies the county seat of Martin. Stuart Police Department oversees the population (2018) of 16,293 residing on 6.65 square miles of land.
Each law enforcement agency listed above has its own police report process. We have connected with each one to provide you with their specific (and sometimes very unique) steps for securing your traffic crash report. Throughout the content, you will also find pertinent references to the legal statutes for Martin County and the State of Florida.
Martin County Sheriff’s Office
The Martin County Sheriff’s Office has jurisdiction over the non-municipal areas of Martin County; including CDPs (census-designated places) such as Jensen Beach, Palm City, and smaller unincorporated communities. Check back here for other resource page links within MCSO’s jurisdiction which may be added from time to time.
Police report copies are free (up to 10 pages) for parties involved in the accident. Additional copies or requests from non-involved persons are priced at .15 to .20 cents per page, payable in cash, money order or check.
During the first 60 days, Martin County Sheriff’s Office requires that you request your report in person, or through your legal representative or insurance carrier. They do have sworn statement forms available on site.
Contact details for obtaining your records are provided as follows:
Martin County Sheriff’s Office
800 SE Monterey Road
Stuart, FL 34994
Phone: (772) 220-7050 records department
Email: [email protected]
Hours: Monday – Friday
Days: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Florida Highway Patrol (FHP)
If a traffic accident should occur on the Interstate or a state highway, the Florida Highway Patrol has jurisdiction. These law enforcement officers will often respond to surface street emergencies along the Treasure Coast due to the proximity many cities have to the freeways.
Within the confidential timeline (first 60 days), you may acquire a police report copy in person at the jurisdictional FHP office which is the closest to the accident location. After 60 days, the FHP accident police report is now public record and may be purchased online at the Florida Crash Portal.
Florida Highway Patrol
2929 N 25th Street
Fort Pierce, FL 34946
Phone: (850) 617-3416, option #1
Martin County Personal Injury Lawyers
Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd has you covered — with multiple office locations along the Treasure Coast and Okeechobee. For over 35 years we have continued to serve our neighbors and visitors with the benefit of focused, local legal experience.
Our police report resource pages have been researched while connecting with the records custodians from each area of emphasis. It is our intention to provide you with the most accurate and thorough path to your Martin County police report. If you need an accident attorney, we are here for you! Just give us a call at (866) 460-1990 for a free case review with one of our Treasure Coast Lawyers!
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