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How to Get a Police Report After Your Car Accident

A police report can turn into an essential aspect of your car accident claim. Unfortunately, drivers who get into accidents are sometimes afraid to or pressured out of contacting police, which can create difficulties when you try to file. To better understand a police report, here is how they can help you and how to obtain one after the accident. Why You Should Call the Police  When the police arrive at the scene of your accident, they take statements from everyone involved to get a better understanding of what happened. A police report is the final account they create based on those statements, and it often identifies who the police officer believes was responsible for causing the accident. The report can be used as evidence of negligence if you are trying to file a claim with the other driver’s insurance. Some states do not even allow you to file a claim without a police report, so don’t skip this step. How to Obtain the Report  You can usually get a copy of the report in one of two ways. The first is contacting the police department directly to request a copy. If you received a receipt from the responding officer at the accident scene, you can give it to the office as a reference number for them to locate the report. If you don’t have the receipt, provide your name and the date and details of the accident for them to look up. You may have to pay around $15 to get a copy. You can also contact your insurance to see if they have already pulled a copy of the police report for their own records. Asking them for a copy can save you the money of going to the police. When the Report Becomes Available The responding officer may take a few weeks to finish and file the report. If you try to get a copy shortly after the accident and it’s not yet available, wait a little while and try again. How Insurance Handles Reports Though the police report probably indicates who the officer thinks is responsible for the accident, the insurance company may not take it into account. They will always conduct their own investigation into your claim and accident. While they will look at the report, they may make a decision different than that of the officer. If the insurance company is trying to...
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