How to Get a Copy of a Police Report

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How to Get a Copy of a Police Report

Knowing how to get a copy of a police report after a car accident is essential, as the document provides important details regarding your crash that may be necessary for your insurance claim or legal proceedings. However, obtaining a police report can seem confusing and overwhelming, especially if you are dealing with the aftermath of a crash, such as physical injuries or emotional trauma.

You don’t have to struggle with a confusing car accident claim alone. Morgan & Morgan’s experienced attorneys could help you with all aspects of your legal claim, including obtaining a police report. We are dedicated to helping car accident victims receive justice and compensation. Contact us now to discover for free how we could help you recover what you deserve.

A Police Report Can Be Essential for Protecting Your Rights

Calling the police to attend to your car accident and write an accident report can be an excellent way to protect your rights and help to prove that another is responsible for the crash.

A police report can also be essential when filing an insurance claim. Insurance companies are always looking for reasons to deny or delay legitimate claims. They may refuse to pay for your damages if there is no police report or the fault for the accident is unclear. Moreover, without a formal police record of your accident, another driver may blame you for the crash and could sue you for car damage, medical costs, and even income losses they experienced due to the accident.

However, if law enforcement did not attend your crash or you do not know how to get a copy of your police report, an experienced car accident lawyer at Morgan & Morgan can help.

Critical Information Contained in a Police Report

If you recently experienced an accident and need to prove the other driver’s fault, knowing how to get a copy of a police report can be helpful. The report is a document created by law enforcement officers who responded to your accident and contains vital information, such as:

Essential Details: The report includes basic information about the accident, such as the date, time, and location of the collision, as well as the names and contact information of all parties involved.

Vehicle information: The document typically contains information about the vehicles involved in the accident, including make, model, and license plate number.

Description of the accident: The police report usually includes a description of how the accident happened, including details such as the direction of travel, speed, and weather conditions at the time of the collision.

Witness statements: If there were eyewitnesses, the accident report usually includes their statements, which can be critical in proving who was at fault.

Officer's opinion: Based on their investigation, the document may also include the officer's opinion about who was at fault for the accident.

It is worth noting that not all police accident reports are the same, and some contain more or less information than others.

Getting a Copy of Your Police Accident Report

You may have several options to obtain a police report of your car accident, including online, by mail, and in person. However, your report may not be available immediately as it may take some time for the officer to complete the report. Remember also that you will need the following when requesting the document:

  • The date on which your crash happened
  • The approximate time of the collision
  • The location of the accident
  • Your name and contact details

Here is how you can go about requesting a police report:

In Person

One of the most traditional ways to obtain a police report is to visit the responsible police station. This can be an excellent option if you prefer face-to-face interaction and want to ask questions about the report.

To obtain the report in person, you must bring a valid form of identification, such as a driver's license or passport, and may have to pay a small fee. You can contact the relevant police department ahead of time to confirm the hours of operation and any other requirements.


Many police departments now offer the option to request a police report online. This can be convenient if you cannot visit the police station in person or prefer to complete the process from the comfort of your home. To request an online police report, you typically need to fill out a request form and provide the relevant accident details, such as the date and location. You may also need to pay a fee online or by check.

By Mail

Lastly, you can also request a physical copy of the police report by mail, which can be convenient if you cannot visit the police station or have trouble completing the process online. To receive a report by mail, you should contact the responsible police department to obtain a request form and fill it out with relevant details about the accident. You may also need to provide a self-addressed stamped envelope and possibly pay a fee by check or money order.

Your Insurance Company or Attorney

You may not need to contact the police department to get a copy of a police report. For example, if your insurer is already working on your claim, they may have the police report and could provide you with a copy for your records. Likewise, if you are working with a car accident lawyer, they could help you obtain a document copy.

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Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

  • Which Other Evidence Could Help to Prove My Claim?

    The police report is not the only form of evidence that can help prove your insurance claim or lawsuit. Other vital evidence can include:  

    • Witness statements
    • Photos and video footage of the accident scene
    • Your account of the collision
    • Expert witness testimony
    • Your medical records

    Your car accident lawyer can help to gather and organize relevant evidence for your case.

  • Does a Police Report Count as Evidence in a Lawsuit?

    A police report is an official document recording the incident and can establish the facts of the crash. For example, if a victim is injured in a car accident, the report could be used in court to show that the accident occurred and that the victim was injured. However, a police report is not always admissible as evidence in court and may not carry much weight in a legal case, especially if the officer can testify in person.

    That said, a police report can help pursue compensation from an insurance company or the at-fault party. Insurance companies typically require a police report before they pay out a claim. A police report can also help establish fault for the accident and determine who is liable for your damages.

    While a police report can be an essential piece of evidence and could help you recover compensation, you should not rely on the document alone. If you suffered severe injuries in an accident, getting a skilled car accident lawyer in your corner can be critical for winning the compensation you need to get your life back on track.

  • How Much Time Do I Have to Get a Copy of the Police Report?

    It is always best to get a copy of a police report as soon as it becomes available, which could be a week or two after the accident. A police report can help jog your memory of the crash and assist in accurately reporting it to your insurance company. Obtaining the police report as soon as possible can help avoid delays in the insurance claim process.

    However, if you cannot get the police report immediately after the accident due to medical or personal reasons, there is no need to rush. There is typically no hard deadline for obtaining a police report. Therefore, you can recover the document as soon as you feel better. You could also ask your attorney to get the police report and provide you with a copy for your records.

  • What Are the Consequences of Failing to Report an Accident?

    Failing to report a crash can have negative legal and financial consequences, depending on the severity of your accident and the applicable state laws. When an accident results in property damage or injury to another person, the law generally requires you to report it to the police and your insurance company. Failing to do so could result in fines, penalties, and even criminal charges.

    If the accident involved only minor car damage and no one was injured, you do not necessarily have to report it to law enforcement. However, consider that failing to file a report can make it challenging to receive an insurance payout. Moreover, if the other driver in your crash decides to file a claim, you may be held liable for damages, and your insurance company could refuse to cover them if you failed to report the accident.

    Therefore, it is usually advisable to report a car accident, regardless of how minor it seems, and avoid potential legal and financial consequences for failing to report the crash.

  • How Can a Car Accident Lawyer Help Me Win Compensation?

    Car accidents can cause serious physical, emotional, and financial harm to those involved. Victims of car accidents often deal with costly medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses that can quickly add up. A car accident lawyer at Morgan & Morgan can help victims and families recover compensation and alleviate financial stress. Here are some ways our dedicated lawyers can help:

    Investigation and Evidence Gathering

    We can investigate your car crash to determine who was at fault and gather evidence to support your claim. This can include collecting witness statements, reviewing police reports, and examining the accident scene. We can also liaise with your medical providers to obtain reports documenting your injuries.

    Negotiating With Insurance Companies

    Insurance companies are often more concerned with their bottom line than the well-being of accident victims. Our car accident lawyers can aggressively negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf and fight for maximum compensation.

    Calculating Damages

    A car accident lawyer can evaluate an injury’s impact on your entire life and calculate the full extent of your damages, such as:

    • Healthcare costs
    • Lost wages
    • Property damage
    • Physical pain
    • Emotional distress
    • Reduced life quality


    While most car accident claims are resolved in out-of-court settlements, some cases may need to be litigated in court. Our trial-experienced car accident lawyers can skillfully argue your case and leave no stone unturned in fighting for the best possible outcome.

  • Who Can Get a Copy of a Police Report?

    The rules for who can obtain a police car accident report vary by state and jurisdiction. However, generally, those who can request a police car accident report include:

    The involved parties: Drivers or passengers involved in a collision may request a copy of the police report.

    Insurance companies: Insurers representing one of the parties involved in the accident may request a copy of the police report in order to investigate a claim.

    Car Accident Attorneys: Lawyers representing the persons involved in a collision may obtain a copy of the police report.

    Law enforcement agencies: Other police departments can request an accident report for investigative purposes.

    Government agencies: Certain agencies may request a copy of the police report for official reasons.

    Members of the public: Some states allow individuals to obtain police reports, although they may need to demonstrate a legitimate reason for requesting it.

  • We Help People Like You Every Day

    If you do not know where to turn or how to get a copy of a police report after getting hurt in a car accident, Morgan & Morgan can help.  Our dedicated attorneys can handle all aspects of your legal case, allowing you to heal and move forward. Hiring us is free, quick, and straightforward. Contact us now to discover your options in a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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