What Will The Police Do At The Scene Of A Car Accident
The police are there to help. They will be able to provide support to the parties involved in the crash, interview witnesses, and gather all necessary information about the accident. The cops will do some or all of the following:
- Take down basic information.
- Make sure the area is secure and safe for traffic and all people involved.
- Give tickets if this is required due to violations or negligence.
- Speak to witnesses, third parties, or any other people involved.
- Evaluate the situation to help avoid scams or other issues.
- Prepare a report you can later use to file your insurance claim or use in court if needed.
Car Accident Police Reports
Car accident police reports are mandated in every state. This is because they happen so often and it is vital to keep drivers responsible through legal consequences.
Many states have laws in place to keep residents accountable and safe. These laws mandate getting a police report after an accident. Some states like Colorado require drivers to file a report even for minor fender benders.
On the other hand, states like Vermont mandate that drivers only need to make a car accident police report if the total damage, property or personal injury, is over $3,000. Most states require that you file within 10 days of the accident. Drivers who fail to make a report can get their license suspended or incur violation fines.
A complete and comprehensive accident police report includes the following information:
- Date, time and location of the accident
- Names, address, phone numbers car information and insurance information of all parties involved in accident
- Information that identifies witnesses
- Description of damage on vehicles and injuries
- Weather and road conditions at the site of the accident
- Statements from all parties involved in accident
- Citations given
- Opinion of cause of collision from all parties involved
Are Police Reports Admissible In Court
In small claims courts, litigants are usually permitted to use police reports as evidence in their car accident case. You will not be expected to know all the rules of evidence, so judges typically will allow plaintiffs and defendants to use the police report in explaining what happened.
If your car accident case goes to trial in your state’s court of general jurisdiction , you should know that parties in these cases are held to the rules of evidence and must contend with whether the police report falls within the rule against “hearsay” evidence, which keeps out many out-of-court statementsby definition, any assertion made in a police report is a statement that was made out of court.
In some jurisdictions, the police report may fall within the “public records” or “business records” exception for admissibility. In other jurisdictions, different exceptions to the hearsay rule may apply and allow you to admit some or all of the police report as evidence.
Also Check: How To Become A Diver For The Police
If A Police Officer Was Present At The Scene
- If you were involved in an accident and a police officer was called to the scene to obtain all the needed information, you do not need to provide any forms unless you receive a letter from the Department of Revenue
- If you are sent a notice by the department it will inform you of what needs to be done.
What Not To Do At The Accident Scene
Getting into a car accident can be a shock. Its important for you to stay calm, avoid arguing with the other driver, and handle the situation properly. Don’t do this :
- Take responsibility or assume liability in any way
- Agree to pay for the damages
- Agree to forget about the accident
- Accept money or any form of settlement
Don’t Miss: Do You Have To Call Police In A Car Accident
How To Get A Copy Of A Car Accident Police Report On A Toll Road In Westchester County Ny
If your accident occurred on a toll road, such as the New York State Thruway , you should take care to note who responded to the accident. It is more likely that a state trooper was called to your crash site, rather than an officer from the Westchester County Police Department. If this is the case, you wont be able to obtain a copy of your official car accident report from department headquarters.
Instead, you will have to go through the online portal that services New York State at large. You will need specific information to conduct your search for your records, such as the names of the drivers involved and the date and location of the accident. You may also need the report reference number, which the officer will typically provide once they conclude their investigation at the scene of the accident. If you never received a reference number or were not able to stay at the scene due to your injuries, our Westchester County personal injury lawyers can help obtain it for you.
Online requests are accompanied by relatively small fees, even just to search for your accident report. To avoid having to pay this fee twice, be sure to wait about two weeks before requesting a copy of your accident. If your search is unable to return any results after two months have passed since the date of your accident, you should act quickly to make sure that your report is publicized by contacting The Martello Law Firm, PLLC.
Potential Consequences For Failing To Report An Accident
Failing to report an accident as required by California state law can lead to penalties for hit-and-run. When a driver neglects to report a car accident to the police when required by law, they can face up to one year in county jail and a fine between $1,000 and $10,000. Additionally, if the driver failed to report an accident resulting in death or serious injury, their penalty could increase to two to four years in prison or 90 days to one year in county jail, along with a fine between $1,000 and $10,000. Its also possible to face an administrative suspension of your drivers license from the California Department of Motor Vehicles.
You May Like: Where Can I Get A Copy Of My Police Report
How Do I Get A Police Report
The application to obtain a copy of the police report can usually be done in person, via mail, or online via the police department website, depending on the department. For instance, the Pennsylvania State Police asks you to submit an application via mail after 15 days have elapsed since the date of the crash.
Usually, the police will provide you with a crash receipt following the accident. This isnt a full report but will provide you with important information such date and location of the accident and the other partys information.
If you have any trouble obtaining your crash report, an attorney can help you get the information.
Alberta Car Accident Stats
Alberta traffic collisions are common. There are about 385 collisions in the province each day. These are just the reported collisions. In 2015 alone, there were :
- 140,705 collisions
Where and how do car accidents in Alberta happen?
- 84.1% occur in urban areas 15.9% in rural areas
- 26.4% are intersection related
- 3.4% of accidents involve a driver who has been drinking 0.3% impaired by drugs
- 25.7% of drivers in fatal collisions were reported as travelling at an unsafe speed
- Saturday recorded the most fatal collisions at 53 and Friday recorded the most injury collisions at 2,288
Also Check: Where Can I Pick Up A Police Report
What Is The Importance Of A Police Report
This formal document encompasses all the accident information, for instance, location, vehicle number, details, and possible information about the passengers and drivers.
It describes what happened and the possible causes of the accident.
The officer who wrote the report assigns a unique 6-digit number to this report, referred to as CCN .
And its better to keep this CCN close as it might come in handy in the future. Police play as a neutral party, so the police report is considered an authentic source of information about the accident.
What Happens If Someone Hits You And They Dont Report It
If someone hits your vehicle and they dont report the accident, they could be charged with “Leaving The Scene Of An Accident”. Failure to file an accident report is very serious.
If you hit a vehicle and dont stop, you may be subject to criminal prosecution. The FSCO recommends this course of action :
Call the police if anyone is injured, if the total damage to all the vehicles involved appears to be more than $2,000, or if you suspect that any of the other drivers involved are guilty of a Criminal Code offence . Follow the instructions given to you by the emergency operator. Police will arrive as soon as possible. Do not try to move anyone injured in the accident you may aggravate their injuries.
If no one is injured and total damage to all the vehicles involved appears to be less than $2,000, call a Collision Reporting Centre within 24 hours.
Recommended Reading: How Can I Make A Police Report
What Other Evidence Can Be Useful To Your Case
The police report is only one form of evidence that your lawyer may use. Your attorney may also obtain:
- Witness accounts of your accident
- Your own account of the accident
- Video footage of your accident
- Expert testimony providing insight into your accident
- Any other useful evidence or documentation
Your lawyer will collect evidence for your case. They will also document your losses through medical records, bills, income reports, and other means.
What Information Do You Need To Get A Police Report Online
To look up your report on this website, one requires some basic information about the case that includes the date of the accident, the location of the accident, the six-digit CCN number, and some other details.
In some cases, the vehicle identification number is also needed.
However, applying online requires you to submit a set of information. This might include the CCN, your name, the date and time of the accident, and the VIN.
Don’t Miss: Should Police Wear Body Cameras
How Can You Get A Police Report Online
Going in person to a police station is a hassle, which is why many people prefer to get theirs online. You can do that by visiting buycrash.com, which allows you to look up and purchase a copy of most car accident reports. The fee is $5 per report. Note that this is not a government-owned website its a private service.
You may need some basic information to look up your report:
- The date of the accident
- Where the accident happened
- Your vehicles Vehicle Identification Number in some cases
Alternately, if you have a car accident lawyer, you can simply ask them to get your police report for you. They have legal assistants who can do this quickly and efficiently without wasting your time. Car accident lawyers do this routinely as part of the process of assembling evidence for your case.
Whats In A Crash Report
In New Jersey, youâre required to report every accident that causes death, injury, or over $500 of damage to the nearest police force or State Police by the âquickest means of communication.â All accidents must be reported, in writing, within 10 days. For minor accidents and hit-and-runs, you can fill out the Motor Vehicle Accident Report and submit it to the NJ Department of Transportation.
However, if the police submit a report, you do not need to. This report is typically available within five days of investigating the collision, and their report will generally carry more weight in court. Donât take any chances â always call law enforcement after a two-car collision. The police officer who responds to your call will take down vital information about the scene and the drivers. If possible, he or she will list:
- the cause of the crash,
- the conditions existing at the time,
- which vehicles were involved,
- address, telephone number, and insurance information for the drivers,
- whether either driver was using a cell phone,
- any other traffic violations, like a driver not wearing a seatbelt.
Ideally, a detailed crash report will show your insurance company what happened and give you proof against the other driver.
Don’t Miss: What Does A Police Background Check Consist Of
How To Get A Copy Of A Car Accident Police Report In Westchester County Ny
If a Westchester County police officer reported to the scene of your car accident and compiled the information for the report, the Westchester County Police Department is responsible for filing the official report. One way to get a copy of your official accident report in these situations is to go directly to the Westchester County Police headquarters.
To do this, visit the department headquarters office at 1 Saw Mill River Pkwy, Hawthorne, NY 10532. The offices are open between 8:30am and 4:30pm Monday through Friday. In order to obtain a copy of your police report, you must bring a valid photo ID as well as a completed copy of Form WCPD 82, which is the official request form for a police accident report. If you need help filling out the form or dont have the adequate information to complete it, our Westchester County truck accident attorneys may be able to help.
Car accident reports wont be available for request immediately after the accident. The process of compiling and submitting a report may take some time. For this reason, we recommend that you wait roughly one week after the accident to obtain your official copy.
What To Do If The Police Dont Come
If a police officer doesnt come to the scene of the auto accident, you can actually go to the police department to file your report. You can often do so online or at the police station.
You can also file an accident report with the DMV. In some cases, you may actually be required to do so. Visit our page on filing accident reports with the DMV to learn more.
Remember, the more documentation you have, the more evidence you have to support your claim.
Read Also: What Is A Police Challenge Coin
Why Police Might Not Come To The Scene
The police dont always make it to the scene of a car accident. There are three common reasons why they might not come if you have an accident.
- The accident did not cause injuries.
- The total value of the property damage was too small. In some jurisdictions, a police officer may not be required to show up to the scene if the estimated damage is less than $500.
- The conditions are too extreme. After an earthquake or in severe weather, such as blizzards or hurricanes, your accident may take lower priority than other accidents or traffic needs.
Obtaining The Police Report
You can obtain a copy of the report by contacting the police department responding to the accident. In Texas, the Texas Department of Transportation is the custodian of crash records for the state. A copy of the Texas Peace Officers Crash Report is available from TxDOT online. This system delivers a certified copy of the report immediately, at a cost of eight dollars. Copies may also be purchased by mail by completing and mailing a request form and payment. In some cases, a report may also be obtained by contacting the local police department.
You May Like: What I Have To Do To Become A Police Officer
Why File An Accident Report With The Police
A car accident is one situation you shouldn’t fail to make a formal report. Besides serving as a third-party witness, reasons you must file a crash report include:
- It gives an unbiased story of the incident.
- It serves as more reliable evidence.
- It prevents someone from claiming against you.
- Reports are primary sources of information to your insurance company.
- A police report puts you in a better position to win a compensation claim.
- You could pay a fine or lose your driving license if you fail to report a car crash incidence in a timely manner
What Information Should You Collect
If the police tell you they cannot make it to the accident, ask them what you should do. Make sure you take down all the information using a car accident form or checklist. Also take down the name of the person you spoke to when reporting the accident, in case you need it later in court.
- Find witnesses, if possible.
- Record the damages, location, and the other party or witness versions of what happened.
- File your report with the police as soon as you can and give the police officer the details you collected.
You will need to file your own report and insurance claim if the police are not there to help. You can go to a nearby police station and report the accident. In some jurisdictions, you can file a police report for certain accidents online. The information collected from the car accident can be one of the most important tools in determining fault and who is financially responsible for the car accident.
Always be honest and detailed with the police officer because it will help you in the long run. Filing a detailed and accurate report means the insurance claim process will likely move more quickly.