One of the things you need to know when filing a car accident lawsuit is how to get a car accident report from the police. Every time a vehicle accident happens and the local police are called, an officer fills out a report based on information he or she collects. This information may include testimony from the drivers of both vehicles, witness statements, driver’s license and vehicle insurance data, the officer’s visual observations of the vehicles, the recorded time and date, and any observations made by the officer about the scene of the accident.
As you can see, it is very important that you get your hands on a copy of the accident report. Here are the simple steps to back up your copy of the report:
- Call the phone number on the piece of paper or business card you received from the local police officer and request a copy of the accident report.
- Go to the website listed on the piece of paper given by the officer and download the accident report. Sometimes online access is an option.
- If you did not receive a piece of paper or a business card at the scene of the accident, call the police station and ask about the officer you met.
- When you speak to the officer in charge, give them your name and a description of the crash so that they can better remember it. Other details that you can offer him are the date, time and place. When you get a recorded message, give them your name, address, and phone number, and ask them to call you back.
- If you cannot reach the officer, a receptionist at the police main counter may be able to help you, or you can call the local courthouse and speak to the officer.
- If you cannot access the police report online or receive it by email, you may need to go to the police department or the courthouse to get a copy. Sometimes there is a fee so bring cash.
- If you still cannot get a copy of the accident report after talking to the officer, police and courthouse, contact your insurance company and the other driver’s insurance company. Insurance companies often have copies of accident reports and can send you a copy by post or email.
- Another option is to contact the DMV or the state office for motor vehicles. DMV specialists can provide instructions on how to get a copy of your accident report.
Hopefully you can get a copy of your accident report quickly and with little effort. However, if the task turns out to be a tedious one, persevere. And maybe you need to be patient with the bureaucracy.
It is very important that you get a copy of the accident report from the police as this is a necessary document that you will need to file an insurance claim. It’s also an essential report for filing a legal claim in order to get the financial compensation you are entitled to.
If you need help getting a car accident report from the police or want to learn more about your legal rights in a car accident, contact a qualified and experienced attorney at Slack Davis Sanger. Every day we help customers who are facing the same challenges as you. We offer a free initial consultation. Call us at 972-534-2855.
WHAT SHOULD I KNOW HOW TO GET AN ACCIDENT REPORT FROM THE POLICE?
First, determine that you are entitled to a copy of the report. Nobody can deny you access to it. If you were one of the drivers involved in the accident, you have the right to see the police report. Often times, the officer who arrives on site will give you a piece of paper with a contact phone number or a website where you can either access the report online or call someone who can email you the report. Often times, this piece of paper also includes an Incident Report Number that a person can use to quickly identify the correct report.
It is best to get a copy of the police report immediately rather than postponing it for several days. These are the things we tend to forget when we wait too long to pursue them. The last thing you want to do is lose your phone number or web address before getting your copy of the police report.
How to get a car accident report from the police usually becomes much more complicated and time consuming when you start from scratch and have to call the transportation department a few days later without an incident report number. The bureaucracy moves slowly when you have to start over.
How long does it take to get a police report after an accident?
Depends on. Some police stations move fast and others can be slow like molasses. You can increase your chances of getting an accident report quickly if you do your homework and are well prepared. Get your ducks in a row and take good notes.
Information you may need in order to get a car accident report from the police
Here are some basic information you might need to speed up your search for a car accident report:
- Name and ID number of the policeman who responded to the scene
- Event report # that identifies the correct document
- Telephone number of the local police station
- Website of the DMV, the police department and the department for local or regional records
- Time, date and place of the accident
- Telephone number or email address for your insurance company and the other driver’s insurance company.
Having these things on hand before looking for a copy of an accident report will save you a lot of time and avoid having to rummage through your purse or wallet or look up online while talking to someone on the phone.