Auto Accident Settlement
When you or your loved one is the victim of a traffic crash in Okeechobee County, FL, your first call should be 9-1-1. The information received by the operator will help to assure the appropriate responders are dispatched as quickly as possible. Depending upon the site of your accident, the responding law enforcement agency may be the City of Okeechobee Police Department, the County of Okeechobee Sheriff’s Office, or the Florida Highway Patrol.
Under the supervision of the investigating officer, the required medical teams will attend to victims’ injuries while tow trucks clear wreckage, and traffic control is achieved. The officer will compile the names, identification, and insurance coverage for all involved parties. Photos or sketches of damages and witness contact information will be collected as well. The official police report will be reviewed by their superior officer and submitted to the agency’s records custodian.
Because many injuries are not obvious until several hours have passed you should always allow an exam by present medical personnel or, at a minimum, check-in with a doctor before going home. Your injury must be documented as incidental to the crash. What may seem to be a minor wound could prove to have a major impact on your life in the days and weeks to come.
A free consultation with our local law firm is strongly suggested before discussing the crash with insurance companies. You want to be able to rely on advice from someone who is going to put the rights and needs of you and your family first.
As a public service, Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd is proud to share this Okeechobee County police report resource page with our neighbors and visitors. Each law enforcement agency included in this article has in-house procedures, as they remain in accordance with Florida Law. We have personally contacted them so we could relay their specific (and sometimes highly advanced) steps for obtaining your traffic crash police report.
Legal Parameters for Okeechobee County Police Reports
Considered the benchmark for laws that mandate openness in government, as well as private businesses, Florida was the first state to adopt the Government-in-the-Sunshine Law in 1967. The ease of communication with records clerks in Okeechobee County is a good example of public trust ‘through willing transparency.’
The significance of Florida Statute Section 316.066 is that it dictates the manner of supervision, control, and appropriate release for traffic crash reports by law enforcement agencies. The following 2-steps describe the process of these police reports as they move from confidential status to open public records.
Confidential Period – First 60 Days
Once a police report has been submitted by an investigating officer to their law enforcement agency a confidentiality timeline of 60 days begins. This custodial measure protects the privacy rights of ‘exempt parties,’ as they 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 insurance carrier; along with the certified media. Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office does not charge a fee for reports requested by crash-involved parties.
Your request for a personal police report copy (during the 1st 60 days) requires the valid photo ID of a party named in the document. Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), a sworn statement is further required as additional proof of exemption, particularly when the request is not made in person. For your convenience, this Florida HSMV Form #94010 may be downloaded, notarized and submitted with your request.
Note: All affidavits must include the promise that any requested records will not be used for the solicitation of crash victims, nor be disclosed to a 3rd-party for this purpose.
Public Record – After 60 Days
According to Florida Law, police reports become ‘public record’ once the 60-day confidentiality period has passed. They are now accessible by uninvolved parties 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.
Okeechobee County Law Enforcement Jurisdictions
After the investigation of a traffic accident, the law enforcement officer has up to 10 business days to submit the completed report to their agency. Once reviewed and approved by the superior officer, the report is turned over to the agency’s records custodian.
Here are the 3 law enforcement agencies that respond to traffic crashes in Okeechobee County, depending upon your accident location. Click on the links below for your city or census-designated place to learn even more about the processing of police report documents in that region.
When a traffic crash occurs within the legal boundaries of a municipality, the local police department will have jurisdiction. The City of Okeechobee is currently the sole city in Okeechobee County, as well as its county seat. Police reports may be obtained directly from the Okeechobee City Police Department — just click on the link to access more specific information.
Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office
The Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office has jurisdiction over the 2 census-designated places (CDPs) of Taylor Creek and Cypress Quarters. In addition, more than 50 unincorporated communities and neighborhoods fall under the purview of the OCSO.
During the first 60 days of privacy involved parties must include an affidavit of proof for their exemption. You may download the FLHSMV’s sworn statement and submit it along with your request on the OCSO website; or you can make the request in person, by mail, email or fax. Be sure to include your accident Case Number and a copy of your valid ID.
Contact details for obtaining your records are provided as follows:
Okeechobee County Sheriff
Attn: Eric Till, Records Clerk
504 NW 4th Street
Okeechobee, Florida 34972
Phone (863) 763-3117 – ask for Records Clerk
Fax: (863) 357-5335
Days: Monday – Friday
Hours: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
After 60 days have passed, you may purchase copies of public record police reports on the new Florida Crash Portal.
Florida Highway Patrol (FHP)
When a traffic accident takes place on the Interstate or a state highway, the Florida Highway Patrol has jurisdiction. These law enforcement officers may also respond to surface street emergencies due to the proximity of several state roads and highways within Okeechobee County.
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. In the case of Okeechobee County, the following FHP location in Fort Pierce is nearest. After the 60-day confidential timeline, 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
Okeechobee County Personal Injury Lawyers
For nearly 40 years the attorneys of Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd have served our neighbors and their visitors, with an office in Okeechobee and multiple locations along the Treasure Coast. Our families have lived here for generations, and our focus is excellent representation while pursuing settlements that you deserve.
There are no out-of-pocket fees to pay; we are paid directly from the claims we win for you. Just give us a call at (866) 460-1990 for a FREE case review with one of our personal injury attorneys!
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