If you’re involved in a serious car accident, there will likely be a report available about the crash. The report is generated by the police officer who arrives at the accident scene. This report is a summary of what the police officer observed at the scene of the crash and contains a lot of important information that may be useful for a settlement or lawsuit. Find out what this report contains and how to obtain it.
How to Get a Report
According to Nolo, there are two ways to go about obtaining a police report. You can try to get it for free by contacting your insurance company. If your representative has requested it, then he or she can give you a copy. If you insurance company doesn’t have it, then you can request a copy from the agency that arrived at the accident scene.
Contact the traffic division of that agency to request a copy for a small fee (around $15 or so). In any case, you’ll have to be patient and wait a few weeks for it to become available.
The report will contain information based on interviews with those involved in the crash, as well as observations from the police officer at the scene. This information includes:
- When and where the accident occurred.
- Contact and insurance information of the parties involved.
- Contact information of any witnesses.
- Vehicle damage.
- Statements from those involved.
- Weather conditions.
- Road conditions that may have contributed to the accident.
- Accident diagram.
- Any traffic violations.
The police report may also include opinions or observations from the police officer. This may include fault or possible reasons why the accident was caused.
What happens if you come across an error in the police report? You may be able to amend it, according to FindLaw. Most factual errors are fairly easy to fix. Contact the police department for assistance.
What Happens Next?
Once you obtain the report, be sure to share it with your attorney, especially if it is believed that the other party was at fault. It may take more evidence than a police report to win a court case or settlement, but a police report can certainly be helpful. It is definitely better than presenting no evidence at all, especially when the victim has suffered serious injuries and there is a lot of money at stake.