How Do I Get a Police Report After an Accident?

On average, thousands of motorists are injured each year in New York & California alone. Nobody expects to be in a car accident, but when you’re involved in one, it’s a good idea to know what to do next.  You’ll most likely have to speak with insurance companies, auto repair shops, and the police department in the hours following the crash.

If a police report is made, the officer who made the report should give you an incident report number. Once the police report is ready, you can give this number to the department in-person and they’ll provide you with a copy of the report for a small processing fee. One of The Barnes Firm’s top car accident lawyers says it could take several weeks for officers to finalize a report, and it might take even longer if there’s an ongoing investigation such as a DUI, fatality, or if there are witnesses that police need to interview.

  • Contact The Barnes Firm

    Fields marked with an * are required

The Barnes Firm Helping You Get Answers

driver making a phone call after being rear ended in a car accident

What to Do in the Moments Following a Car Accident

The Barnes Firm’s car accident lawyers say ensuring that the police file a report on the accident is one of the things you can do to guarantee that your claim for property damage or personal injury is a strong one. If you’ve been hurt, seek the best car accident attorney in New York or California to fight for you and the compensation you deserve.

State laws often require that anyone involved in a car accident must stop at the scene and exchange information with the other driver. If there are no injuries and you’re able to safely talk to the other driver, the following information is what you’re required to share and receive from them:

  • Name and address
  • Drivers License information
  • Vehicle Registration
  • Insurance details
  • License plate number

Whether there are injuries or not, call 911 and report the accident. Be sure you can explain to the operator:

  • Where you’re located
  • A detailed description of the scene
  • and report any injuries that anyone in the crash might have sustained.

However, do not discuss with the operator your thoughts on who caused the accident or who was at fault. If there are injuries, paramedics will be dispatched. You must let the paramedics examine your injuries and determine whether you need to be transported to the emergency room. One of The Barnes Firm’s best car accident lawyers recommend getting medical attention promptly after the accident. Combined with the documentation from the police report, this will strengthen your injury and property damage case.

Why a Police Report After an Accident is Important

The significance of having a police report is to acquire the documentation. It’s unbiased proof of the damages and injuries resulting from the crash. The police report serves as a form of protection to strengthen your case for compensation. If your accident was minor, it’s still important to call the police and request a report.

In a legal case for compensation, a car accident lawyer says a police report will help your case in many ways. First, it’s much more effective as evidence than a situation where it’s a matter of your word against the other party’s. Second, the insurance company involved in the claim will also require the police report for their records. After ensuring the police come to the scene to fill out a report, you can usually request a copy within a couple of hours or a day at most. Be sure that you request a copy for yourself, and that one be sent directly to the insurance company.

police lights at night
two toy cars demonstrating a t-bone crash on a desk and legal paperwork

What Information Does a Police Accident Report Provide?

A police report is considered unbiased information. It’s the viewpoint of the police officer objectively documenting the details of the accident. You’ll find the following information on a report:

  • The location of where the car accident occurred
  • The date and time of the accident
  • Injuries that car crash victims sustained
  • Losses to the vehicles or other property following the crash
  • Statements of those who witnessed the car accident
  • Accounts of the drivers involved in the collision giving their viewpoint of the crash
  • Details of the environment at the time of the accident (i.e., wet or icy road conditions)

These details in the police report provide substantial evidence that can significantly improve and increase the compensation you’re due to another driver’s negligence. Always protect yourself and the chance of success for your case by ensuring a police report is filed after your car accident. An experienced car accident lawyer can assist with this. If you choose to contact The Barnes Firm, we’ll help you go over your legal options for FREE.

Turn to Experienced Car Accident Injury Attorneys

After seeking medical care and assuring that a police report is filed, consult with a trusted personal injury attorney to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. At The Barnes Firm, our attorneys have decades of experience fighting for car accident victims. We work tirelessly to negotiate the most favorable outcome to compensate for the pain and expenses caused by accidents. We don’t charge a fee until we win your case. To get started on your free consultation, fill out our online form, or call us today.

The Barnes Firm (800) 800-0000