Making sure that a police report is filed following a traffic accident is extremely important. It does not matter if the collision was an insignificant fender bender or a catastrophic crash. Knowing what information is detailed in a car accident police report, where and how to get a copy, and how it can be used in a lawsuit or settlement is vital to ensuring that your rights are protected.
Why do I need a copy of my police car accident report?
If you were injured in a car accident that was not your fault, you are entitled to hold the at-fault driver responsible for the medical expenses and other financial damages you accrued. An experienced motor vehicle accident attorney from Local Accident Reports can help you prove liability and recommend the best course of action for your specific situation.
What is an Accident Report?
A police car accident report is an official document that is drafted by the police officer who responded to the scene of your accident. The report will include detailed information about the collision, statements from other people involved in the incident, eyewitness statements, and various other essential details recorded by the responding officer. Police reports are essential to the accurate determination of fault and damages after a traffic accident.Car accident attorneys and auto insurance companies place a lot of weight on the information contained in police reports, especially if it points to one driver being mostly or completely at fault. This is why, even in a minor collision, a police car accident report is an important piece of evidence that can protect your rights and support any forthcoming legal or insurance claims that anybody involved in your accident might make, including pursuing a lawsuit or settlement.
How Do I Make Sure a Police Report is Created?
In order to generate a police report for a car accident, you will need to request an officer to the scene if they don’t show up on their own. After getting yourself and your passengers to a safe area, call 911 and tell them that police are needed on the scene. You are under no legal obligation to speak with the police, but it is in your best interests to give them your side of the story for their report. Never admit fault, either deliberately or accidentally. When you speak, stick to the facts, don’t guess, and don’t lie. Once the officer has cleared you to leave the scene, make sure that you write down their name and badge number or ask if they have a card. You should also get the police report number assigned to your case if it is available.
What Will the Police Report Say?
While the format varies from place to place, a police accident report typically contains:
- Details regarding the accident, including any property, vehicles, and people involved, such as:
- Personal information, including names, addresses, telephone numbers, and insurance policy information
- Personal information of any eyewitnesses
- The location, date, and time of the accident
- Visibility, traffic, and weather conditions at the time of the crash
- Statements from every bystander, passenger, and driver
- A rudimentary sketch of the accident scene
- Vehicle travel paths
- Point of impact
- Descriptions of any physical injuries or property damage
- Any citations that were issued
- Other conclusions or determinations about why or how the crash happened, including the responding officer’s ideas as to what caused the accident and who they determined to be at fault
How Can I Get a Copy of My Police Report?
Depending on where you live, there are a few different ways you should be able to get a hold of a copy of your police car accident report. Possibly the fastest way to do so is by going to crashdocs.org or localaccidentreports.com, selecting the appropriate state, and filling in the requested information. You can also obtain a copy of your report from the local police precinct that drafted it. If the responding officer was able to provide you with the report number at the scene, you can simply call their traffic division. They will be able to give you a copy. Keep in mind that while some states will issue you a copy of your report for free, most of them do charge an administrative fee. Depending on where your accident took place, you may be able to request a copy of your police accident report through the mail, in person, or online. If you did not get your police report number, the issuing agency can still find your report if you give them the location, time, and date of the crash along with your full name.Failing that, your auto insurance provider might have already acquired a copy of your report. If this is the case, you can request a copy directly from them. The time the responding officer has to complete and file your report varies from state to state. Most deadlines range between 10 days and six weeks. Your report will not be available before then.
Schedule Your Free Consultation Today
If you were injured in a car accident, you deserve to be compensated for your damages. Most car accident victims sustain severe injuries and are not able to work even though the medical bills are pouring in. Speak with a car accident attorney from Local Accident Reports by calling (888) 657-1460 to schedule your free case evaluation as soon as possible.