Are car accidents public information? The answer depends on the state where you live.
In New York, car accidents become a part of the public record between 14 and 60 days after the date of an accident. The number of days that pass before the state releases a vehicle collision report depends on the way the state received the report. It takes fewer days to release a car accident report if the state receives it via email as opposed to getting it through the United States Postal Service (USPS). The New York Department of Motor Vehicles provides a copy of a car accident report submitted by both motorists and law enforcement agencies up to four years after submission.
On the other hand, California does not make car accident reports a part of the public record, regardless of which party submits a report. This does not mean you cannot gain access to a car accident report in the Golden State. You can obtain a copy of a vehicle collision report by requesting the law enforcement agency that processed the report to release a copy of it in either print or digital form.
In the aftermath of a car accident, you should ask for a copy of the official incident report as soon as possible to ensure the report contains accurate information. Any inaccurate information discovered in a car accident report might make it difficult for you to receive compensation from your insurance company. Filing a successful civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages also becomes more difficult to do. The key to receiving just compensation to recover financial losses involves proving another party committed one or more acts of negligence. An inaccurate car accident report hinders your personal injury attorney’s ability to prove the presence of the four elements of negligence.
For more than three decades, the personal injury attorneys at Morgan and Morgan have helped clients receive the compensation they deserve to recover financial losses such as medical expenses and the value of repairs to damaged property. At the heart of every car accident case is the official incident report filed by the law enforcement agency that responded to the scene of an auto crash. Not only do we receive the official police report, but we also review it to make sure it contains accurate information. Our due diligence has helped our clients receive monetary damages for car accident cases that run into billions of dollars.
Learn more about the question, “Are car accidents public information,” by scheduling a free case evaluation with one of the personal injury lawyers at Morgan and Morgan.