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How to Obtain a Police Report After an Accident

How Important is the Police Report After an Accident?

Getting into a car accident can be a very traumatic experience. Not only do you have to recover from the shock and begin the recovery process, but you have to deal with the insurance company. And one of the first things the adjuster will ask for is a police report.

If you have never been in a serious car accident or truck accident before, you may not know how to go about getting the incident report. After all, you’re busy fielding calls from the insurance companies, making doctor’s appointments, looking for a car accident lawyer in Philadelphia or some other city in Pennsylvania, and maybe arranging to take time off of work. Who has time to fetch a police report?

What you may not realize is the police report will have vital information that you need in order to receive fair compensation for your injuries. It answers two of the most important questions you will face after a car crash — what happened and who is at fault?

What is a Police Report?

Personal Injury Attorney Marion Munley reading from a fileAn accident report is a legal document that describes the accident, the investigation that followed, and/or any supporting documentation. Police reports are usually created by the investigating police officer at the scene of the car accident. It contains the following information:

  • The date and time the accident occurred
  • The location of the car crash, including the town and county
  • Weather and road conditions at the time of the car crash
  • Contact information and details about each of the drivers involved in the wreck
  • Any information about passengers in the vehicle
  • Details about the accident and the vehicles, including a diagram of the placement of the vehicles at the time of the accident
  • A brief summary of what happened, taken from statements from the vehicle occupants and witnesses at the scene

The police report will also mention who was injured in the accident and whether anyone received a citation.

It does cost a fee to get the report, usually between $15 and $25.

How Do You Get Police Reports?

You will need to fill out a police report request form to get a copy of the accident report. The application to obtain a copy of the police report can usually be done in person, by mail, or online via the local police department website, depending on the department. For instance, the Pennsylvania State Police asks you to submit an application by mail after 15 days have elapsed since the date of the car crash.

Usually, the police officer will provide you with a crash receipt following the accident. This isn’t a full report but will give you with important information such date and location of the accident and the other party’s information. You will need the incident report number to obtain a copy of the police report.

If you have any trouble obtaining your crash report after a trucking accident, a truck accident lawyer from Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys can help you get the information.

Why Do I Need a Police Report?

smashed front ends of two cars after an accident in wilkes-barreThe accident report for your accident will contain crucial information about your case. The police take the time to investigate the accident, inspect the vehicles, talk to witnesses, and take photographs of the scene.

Also included in the police report will be opinions by the police as to what was the cause of the crash and who may be at fault.

This document will be used by your insurance carrier to get a better understanding of what happened and the damage your vehicle received in the accident. Using this information, the insurance adjuster will then determine who is at fault for the accident and will estimate the amount of compensation your claim is worth. Despite what the officer believes or what is in the police report, remember that your insurance will draw its own conclusions about what had occurred.

That’s why it’s important to get the police report as soon as possible. You need to check to make sure the statements and facts are correct. If they are not correct, you will need to contact the investigating officer to explain why the facts are wrong and need to be corrected.

Are Accident Reports Necessary Even if No One was Hurt?

Let’s say you did have an accident but there were no injuries involved. So does that mean getting the police report isn’t really necessary?

The answer to this question is still yes. Accident reports provide you with all the information you need to strengthen your accident claim. If your insurance is fighting your claim and considers you at fault for the car accident, this is where a police report from an impartial witness will come in handy.

Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help You Obtain Your Police Report

Without the report, you will have trouble proving your side of the story. And the days following a car accident can prove overwhelming. This is one step in the process that you do not want to forget.

An experienced and compassionate car accident lawyer can help you navigate this process and answer any questions you may have along the way. Contact Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys for help with your car accident claim today. Choose carefully.

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Posted in Car Accidents.

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