Answers to Questions About Obtaining a Police Report

A police report recording the details of your motor vehicle accident can be an important piece of evidence for building your case. Some states don’t allow them in court on the grounds that they violate rules against hearsay. However, the laws of other jurisdictions make exceptions for them.

Different states also have different procedures for requesting a copy of your crash report. What follows are answers to general questions that you may have.

  1. Can You Obtain the Report from Law Enforcement?

Yes, this is one way to do it. Some jurisdictions allow you to access your report via an online portal. Otherwise, you can call your local law enforcement agency and ask for the traffic division. You should have received an identification number from the responding officer at the scene. You can use this to help traffic division personnel locate your report.

  1. Does It Cost Money to Get the Report This Way?

Yes, the traffic division typically charges you an administration fee. The amount can vary by jurisdiction, but it is usually very reasonable. You can typically expect to pay about $15.

  1. Is There a Way to Obtain the Report for Free?

When you call your insurance company to report the accident, the claims representative may ask you for the identification number so he or she can obtain the report. If your insurance company has the report, you can contact your claims rep and ask for a copy. Your insurer may provide it to you for free, though this is not certain.

  1. What If You Do Not Have the Identification Number?

If you do not have the identification number at the time that you want to request the report, you may be able to locate it by other means. You can give your name to the law enforcement traffic division, along with the location of the car accident and the date and time that it occurred. Law enforcement personnel may be able to locate it for you that way.

  1. How Long Does It Take to Get the Report?

It may be several weeks after your accident before the report becomes available. The officer needs time to write it, and it may require some investigation first. If you request the report before it becomes available, you may have to wait up to several weeks to obtain it.

A lawyer, like a workers’ compensation lawyer from Hickey & Turim, may be able to help you with gathering evidence for building your case, including obtaining the crash report. Contact a reputable law office to schedule a consultation today.