Know How To Contact The Officer Who Filed Your Report
After the accident report is filed, make sure you get a card and/or direct contact information from the police officer who filed the report.
Often after an accident, you may only remember details after you’ve rested and calmed down. These details can be very important, especially if the car accident claim snowballs into a lawsuit.
If you find you have remembered some key details after the accident report is filed, contact the police officer and see if you can add these details to the accident report.
How To Get A Copy Of A Police Report
As we touched on above, police report is generated by the investigating officer who responds to a request for assistance at the scene of a car accident. The police report is a summary of information regarding the crashusually containing facts related to the accident and opinions of the investigating officer.
There are two ways to obtain a police report. One way will cost you money, the other probably will not. To obtain a paid copy of the police report, you need to request a copy from the local law enforcement office that drafted the report. Before leaving the scene of the crash, the investigating officer typically will hand you a receipt with the identification number for the police report. Call the traffic division of the local law enforcement agency that responded to the scene of the car accident, pay the administrative fee , and you should have no problem obtaining a copy.
If you do not have or do not know the identification number for the police report, you can provide the date, time, and location of the car accident, along with your name, to assist in locating the report.
To obtain a free copy of the police report, you can ask the insurance adjuster who is handling your claim if they requested the report, and ask for a copy.
Regardless of how you obtain the police report, it may take a few weeks for the investigating officer to complete the report, and for it to become available.
Is A Police Report Necessary Even If No One Was Hurt
Lets say you did have an accident but there were no injuries involved. So does that mean getting the police report is really necessary?
The answer to this question is still yes. The police report will provide you with all the information you need to strengthen your accident claim. If your insurance company is fighting your claim and considers you at fault for the accident, this is where a report from an impartial witness will come in handy.
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Truck Accident Investigations Can Quickly Turn More Complicated Than You May Anticipate
If you suffer injuries in a car accident, the investigation may look relatively straightforward. A lawyer may want to look at obvious contributing factors, but often, the driver that caused the accident will bear liability for the accident and any injuries that result.
On the other hand, a truck accident may involve a much more complex investigation. A lawyer may have to look at multiple factors to identify every party who contributed to your injuries.
When Should I Report An Accident To The Police
Even if your state law gives you a cushion of 10 days, 30 days, or something else, you should always report an accident to the police as soon as possible. In some cases, if you take longer than a certain amount of time, you may need to provide documentation proving why you weren’t able to submit it earlier.
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How Long Should I Wait Before Making A Police Report
Police should be called immediately, or at the latest 28 days following the accident, to the scene of major traffic crashes, where:
- Where someone is killed or injured
- A party fails to stop and exchange particulars
- A driver is allegedly under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs
- There are hazards present, such as significant damage to structures
- There is aggressive or criminal behaviour between the parties
For all other car accidents, the parties involved should aim to make a police report as soon as possible. If there is a failure to make a police report within 28 days of the car accident, then insurers may reject any claims on this basis, or require a justification for this delay.
Get The Legal Help You Need For Your Case
If you are filing a personal injury claim against an at-fault party in your accident, it is important you have solid, experienced legal guidance for your case. If you are uncertain when to get a lawyer for an auto accident, bear in mind that a statute of limitations will apply. Get started on your case right away with a free consultation.Article written by Attorney Aaron Crane. Aaron Crane has been helping personal injury clients for over 14 years and is highly trained in all areas of injury law, car accidents, wrongful death, medical malpractice, injury tort and other areas. Over his career, Aaron has recovered over 10 million dollars in settlements for his clients.Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 800 North Belcher Road Clearwater, FL 33765 451-6900 https://www.dolmanlaw.com/hire-car-accident-lawyer/
Article by Attorney Aaron Crane
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Is All The Information In The Report Factual Or Opinion
The police report is written by an enforcement officer who bases their opinion on specific facts in the case. Because the investigating officer is a trained third-party bystander, those opinions hold more weight.
That said, both insurance companies also come to their own decision on the matter. Usually, the insurance companies have an investigator determine what happened in the accident. If all sides do not agree, that is when the case gets brought into court.
What Happens Once You Discover An Error In A Police Report
People make mistakes, and police officers are just as capable of incorrectly recording the information they gather at the scene of an accident as anyone else. Sometimes these errors are so minor as to not have a material effect on a car insurance claim others, though, might throw a major monkey wrench in the works.
Believe it or not, you do have some recourse when it comes to having a police report altered after the fact. Its not impossible to amend a police report or to request a supplemental report to provide additional clarification. However, the process for correcting information can differ whether its considered factual or if its disputed.
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Here’s What You Should Know
Vehicle collisions can be stressful when they occur, but it’s important to remember that your safety is always the number one priority. The following are a few tips to keep in mind immediately after involvement in a collision:
- Shift your vehicle into “park.”
- Check yourself and any passengers for injuries.
- If you cannot move your vehicle, or if medical assistance is needed, dial “911” and follow the operator’s instructions.
If your vehicle is operable, and neither you nor any passengers with you have suffered any injuries, you should move to a secure location before exiting to assess the situation. Doing so will:
- Protect you from oncoming traffic.
- Allow safer passage for other motorists on the road.
- Provide easier access for emergency responders to reach you, if necessary.
How Long After A Car Accident Can I File A Police Report
Drivers involved in a crash that caused an injury, a fatality, or significant property damage usually have to file a police report immediately after the accident.
In California, for example, drivers who have been in a crash that caused injuries or a fatality only have 24 hours to file a written report with the California Highway Patrol, or with the local police department.1
If the driver is incapacitated from the crash, a vehicle occupant can do it on the drivers behalf.2
If a police officer responds to the crash and creates a report of the incident, then drivers do not need to file their own. However, drivers may still have to file an accident report.
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Write Down Information About Weather Road Conditions Along With Time And Place Of The Accident As Soon As Possible
You want to be able to provide as much information about the conditions surrounding your accident as possible. The sooner you do this, the more likely it is that you will remember more details. This helps your broker or insurance company, and the police, to understand the circumstances around the car crash.
Do I Also Have To Report The Accident To My Insurance Company
Drivers will also have to report the car crash to their auto insurance company. The details for reporting the auto accident will usually be covered in the insurance policy. Doing so quickly can ensure that any subsequent insurance claim is not denied by the car insurance companys adjuster.
If the owner of the vehicle is having difficulty with the injury claims process, he or she should consider hiring a personal injury attorney from a reputable law firm for legal advice.
If you suffered injuries in a car crash, we invite you to contact our California auto accident attorneys for help and legal advice.
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How Does A Police Report Affect A Car Accident Claim
Not only can a police report provide important leads for an independent investigation of a crash, but the report itself may also be used as evidence in a car accident lawsuit. The investigating officer may also give testimony about the investigation. The report can help refresh his memory later when he is deposed or testifies in court.
However, the officer does not have final say on who has civil liability for a car accident. The police report is the responding officers opinion of the crash not necessarily what actually happened. Witnesses to the accident are vital to prove fault.
At Riddle & Brantley, we have investigators on staff who can investigate a car accident, gathering evidence, interviewing potential witnesses, and working with law enforcement to prove liability and strengthen your case.
For a FREE consultation with a North Carolina car accident lawyer, please call 1-800-525-7111.
There is no obligation and we dont get paid unless you do. If we dont recover compensation for you, you wont pay any attorney fees.
Call 1-800-525-7111 and lets review your claim.
When Should I Contact The Police About My Auto Accident Will They File The Mv
The right time to notify the police about your auto accident is as soon as it happens.
You should never leave the scene of the crash without notifying law enforcement and waiting for an officers arrival . Doing so can lead to a number of legal problems down the road.
When the police officer arrives, he or she will complete MV-104A and file it shortly thereafter. Ask the officer for a copy of the MV-104A report or instructions for accessing it online.
If for some reason the officers choose not to respond to your accident , you may then be responsible for contacting the local law enforcement office directly and filing an MV-104A report as soon as possible, either in person or by telephone.
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Contents Of A Police Report
Standard information includes details that are part of any report, such as the date, time, and location of the incident, pertinent information about all involved drivers and vehicles, and information about passengers and other witnesses.
Here, you need to make sure that police officers have the most complete information possible. For example, they should have the name, address, drivers license number, and birth date, as well as all information about the vehicle involved .
Its also important to make sure that police take complete information about passengers. Police typically dont note passenger involvement unless they were injured or killed, but passengers can often serve as vital witnesses.
Then theres the accident information. This section usually involves a series of check-the-box questions to standardize responses and ensure every possible detail is addressed.
The most important section for you is the party and witness statements, as this is where you get to tell your story. Officers compose this section based on notes taken at the accident site, so ask the responding officer to review their notes to ensure your accident statement is accurate.
How Long Does It Take To Obtain A Police Report
It typically only takes a few days to a week to get a copy of a police report if you were directly involved in the case. However, if you were not directly involved, or if you are an insurance agent, it will take longer because you have to send in a request and have it processed. This process can take up to a month or longer.
Everyone Involved Must Provide Proof Of Insurance
The parties involved in the accident must provide proof of insurance to the police officer who arrives on the scene to investigate the crash. The officer, in turn, documents this proof in his or her crash report.
Failure to provide such evidence can result in the issuance of a nonmoving violation. The law enforcement officer might deem that the circumstances of the accident made the provision of this information not immediately possible, however. In this case, the party has 24 hours to provide proof of insurance. If they can fulfill this duty, the police might void the citation.
Florida Statutes Motor Vehicles Title XXIII, Chapter 316 describes reporting requirements following an auto accident in Florida.
Can You File A Police Report Days After An Incident
When a car accident happens, it is best to notify both your insurance company and the local police as soon as possible. However, this may not always be necessary in situations where you are only involved in a minor accident with minimal damage.
Keep in mind that the main purpose for filing a police report is to have concrete evidence that the accident actually happened and a summary of the details. This documentation is beneficial for people making insurance claims or bringing lawsuits at a later time.
What to do at the scene?
At minimum, you should always at least contact the other driver and exchange information. Leaving the scene without contacting the other driver is considered a crime in every state in the U.S. Some jurisdictions require you to notify the police while at the accident scene as well, so it is important to research local laws.
If the police are not contacted immediately after the accident, it will be difficult for them to verify that the damage actually happened due to the accident and not some other incident. Your insurance company may not have any proof from an independent source if you attempt to make a claim to receive compensation for repairs.
Can police be notified later after both drivers have left the scene?
If the police do not or cannot respond to the accident scene after they are contacted, it is best to try to take pictures and gather as much information as possible to create your own record.
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After The Report Is Taken
The responding officer will take the information needed for the report at the scene of the accident, you will be given a report number or other identifying information and the officer will tell you how long it does take to get a police report after an accident in their jurisdiction.
While most reports can be requested by mail, phone, or in-person and some can even be requested by email, its best to understand the policies for the officers department so you have the appropriate expectations. It generally takes a couple of days for the report to be properly submitted and filed by the officer into the departments system, however, digital technology is allowing some departments to create reports at the scene and have them available as early as the next day.
You Should Always Report A Big Truck Accident To The Police
Any time you get into an accident involving significant property damage or injury, including big truck accidents, you should report those accidents to the police before leaving the accident scene.
Truck drivers may have any number of reasons why they do not want to report an accident immediately. The truck driver may worry about meeting a deadline, especially if they find themselves on a tight deadline, or a delay could cause them to get bogged down in local rush hour traffic.
The driver may not want the accident on their record, especially if they have already caused severe accidents. However, regardless of the reason, you should always report any serious accident to the police.
Reporting an accident can provide you with vital protections, including a clear record of the accident and any apparent signs of liability related to the accident. The police report can help you establish that the truck driver caused your accident and that, as a result, you may deserve compensation.
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