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How do I Obtain a Copy of the Police Report? After getting into an accident, obtaining a copy of the police report for your records is crucial to building a strong case. Once the accident is reported the police officer arrives on the scene to evaluate the situation, interview witnesses, and complete the appropriate forms. An accident claim without a police report will be incomplete and will increase the risk of being denied or a lower settlement offer. You will need to gather and include all information about your crash so that your attorney will be able to obtain a decent settlement.
How do I Obtain a Copy of the Police Report?
Obtaining a copy of the police report is a very simple process. It can be accomplished by the following steps:
- Contact the police station and ask for the officer who worked with you on the report.
- When you speak with the officer, give him a brief description of the accident.
- If the officer is unavailable, you can speak to the receptionist. You can also call the local courthouse and talk to a clerk. Once you know which department has your accident record on file, you may need to go to the police station or court house in order to obtain a copy. Since most car accident reports are public record, you may be able to fill out an online request form and mail in your fee. Fees range anywhere from $10-15.00.
- If you are unable to get the police report from the courthouse or the police department, call your insurance company. You can also call the insurance company of the other driver to see if they have a copy. Ask them to mail it to you.
- If this is not the case, your personal injury attorney will be able to obtain a copy for their records and can request it from the county that the report was filed in.
- You may also be able to find the police report at the local DMV office. Some DMV offices will provide the accident report after the responding officer submits their findings.
It may take some time for you to get the records. Furthermore, you may have to be a bit persistent in your search. The accident report is a crucial piece of evidence in your personal injury claim.
What Type of Information is on the Report?
Once you have obtained a copy of the report and have gone over it, you will notice that it has the following information on it:
- The names of the parties involved in the accident
- The date and time of the accident
- Location of the accident
- A reference number (if available)
- Preliminary assessment of fault
- for example, it will contain the responding officer’s observations as well as statements from all parties and any witnesses in the accident.
The information that is provided on the documents includes but is not limited to:
- Full names
- Phone numbers
- Date of birth
- Driver’s license number
And any other important and relevant identifying information. The report will also include motor vehicle information, as well as the details the officer took at the scene.
Sometimes the information on the police report is a matter of fact and of opinion. For example, the date and time of the accident are a matter of fact. Fault determinations are the opinions of the responding officer. After receiving the police report and doing their own investigation, the insurance companies come to their own conclusion as to who is at fault. Sometimes the findings of who is at fault differentiate in the police report and the insurance report.
Amending a Report
Sometimes the information the police provide in their report is not accurate. In certain circumstances, it is possible to amend a police report. Amending a factual error is a very simple process. However amending a disputed fact by the drivers as well as the police report, us usually a more difficult task.
If you are suffering from injuries and need representation, please contact us today. A personal injury attorney in our office would love to speak with you. Consultations are free.