After a Car Accident: How to Obtain a Police Report
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 they will ask for is the police report.
If you have never been in a serious car accident or truck accident before, you may not know how to go about this. After all, you’re busy fielding calls from the insurance companies, making doctor’s appointments, 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 one of the most important questions you will face after a car crash — what happened?
How Do I Get a Police Report?
A police report is usually created by the investigating officer at the scene of the accident. It contains a summary of the crash, including any facts or opinions the officer had while investigating the scene. It does cost a fee to get the report, between $15 and $25.
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 isn’t a full report but will provide you with important information such date and location of the accident and the other party’s information.
If you have any trouble obtaining your crash report, an attorney can help you get the information.
Why Do I Need a Police Report?
The crash 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. All this information will be included in the report, including the following information:
- An approximate date, time, and location of the accident
- All contact information of the parties involved, including the insurance information
- Any information as provided by witnesses of the accident
- The damage to the vehicles
- The conditions of the scene such as the state of the road, weather, and visibility
- The statements provided by the other party and witnesses
- Any citations or violations that were issued by the officer
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. Despite what the officer believes, remember that your insurance company will draw its own conclusions about what had occurred.
Is a Police Report 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 is really necessary?
The answer to this question is still yes. The police report will provide you 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.
Munley Law 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 for help with your car accident claim today. Choose carefully.
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