Can I Get a Police Report Online?

Can I Get a Police Report Online?

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Can I Get a Police Report Online?

If you or a loved one experienced a vehicle collision, you might wonder, “Can I get a police report online?” While you can get a police accident report online in most states, the exact process may vary from one state to another. Therefore, contact the police department responsible for the accident report to determine how to obtain the police report, which may be online, in person, or by mail.

A police report could be vital for proving your insurance claim or lawsuit if another party caused the crash. However, if you suffered severe injuries and significant financial damages, consider speaking to a car accident attorney who could help to maximize your settlement.

Don’t struggle alone with a car accident claim. Morgan & Morgan is here to help. Our car accident lawyers fight for the rights of injured car accident victims every day. Contact us for a free case review to discover how we could help.

Why You Might Need a Police Report

A police accident report can be critical, especially if you plan to file an insurance claim or lawsuit against the driver or other party that caused your crash and injuries. A report typically contains the officer’s opinion of who is at fault for the collision, which can be crucial evidence helping to prove your claim.

What Is a Police Accident Report?

Law enforcement typically arrives at the crash scene when you dial 911. An officer will make an official police report including the details of all drivers involved, witness statements, and other critical information regarding the accident, such as:

  • An opinion as to who or what caused the collision
  • A drawing of the accident and the position of the vehicles
  • Statements from those involved in the crash

How to Get Your Police Report

The police officer at the crash scene should have provided you with an incident report document containing an identification number. You will need this number when collecting your report. If you did not receive the paperwork with the identification number, you should still be able to get your report by providing your name and address and the date, time, and location of the crash.

There can be various ways to get a police accident report. You can either obtain an online report, mail your request to the local law enforcement office, or visit the office in person. There is usually a fee, which can be around $10-25. However, if an insurance company is already investigating your claim, the adjuster could also provide you with the report. If an attorney represents you, they may be able to get you a copy.

Receiving an Accident Report Could Take Weeks

It is important to note that the accident report will not be ready immediately as it takes a while to be processed. It usually takes a few weeks for the investigating law enforcement officer to complete and release the report. Moreover, if someone died in the accident, it could take months before the report will be available.

The Weight of Police Reports as Evidence

A police report can be helpful if you have to file an insurance claim or lawsuit after a car accident. However, do not assume that the report will guarantee an insurance settlement or make or break your legal case. The insurer will conduct its own investigation into the car crash and may or may not come to the same conclusions as the police officer who attended the crash scene.

Moreover, when your case goes to trial, the police report may not carry much weight, as it could count as “hearsay” evidence, which generally applies to statements made out of court. Courts recognize that most police reports are drafted hurriedly at the accident scene with little investigation. Therefore, police reports may not be admitted as evidence, particularly in cases when the officer is available to testify in person.

However, whether an accident report is admissible will depend on the nature of your case. While you may be able to use some or all of the police report as evidence in court, it is best not to rely on it and ensure that you have a skilled lawyer in your corner who can present your case powerfully.

A Police Report Does Not Always Prove Who Is at Fault  

As we have seen, a police report may not hold much weight in court proceedings or insurance claims. However, the information in a report can influence the outcome of your legal case. If the police report contains mistakes, jeopardizes your case, or provides the other side with ammunition to fight your claim, get an attorney on your side to protect your rights. A car accident lawyer from Morgan & Morgan could advocate for you and help you receive a fair settlement.

How a Car Accident Attorney Can Help

Proving a car accident claim, especially if you are still recovering from your injuries, can be exhausting and complicated. However, our car accident lawyers can navigate the legal process for you and fight for justice and compensation on your behalf while you are healing. Ways in which Morgan & Morgan can help include:

Proving Your Claim

We have the resources and expertise to thoroughly investigate your crash together with professional investigators. Our attorneys can work on all legal aspects of your claim, including proving that another caused your crash and losses. We can gather the necessary evidence, such as:

  • Police accident report
  • Traffic camera footage
  • Witness statements
  • Crash investigators’ findings

Negotiate a Fair Settlement

Even a favorable police report cannot guarantee the insurance settlement you need to pay your bills. Insurers are primarily concerned with their best interests and usually launch their own investigation, not least to determine whether they can get out of their obligations and deny or reduce your settlement. A determined car accident lawyer from Morgan & Morgan can level the playing field and negotiate hard for what you deserve.
 
Take Your Case to Trial

Although most car accident claims settle out of court, insurers will not budge in some cases. Unlike other law firms, who may shy away from going to trial and instead accept an insurer’s last best offer, our attorneys never settle for less. We want you to receive the total value of your car accident claim so you can put your life back together after a significant injury.

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FAQ

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

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  • Which Information Does a Police Report Contain?

    You can get a police report online that contains all the crucial information about the accident. An officer attending the crash will inspect the accident scene and vehicles thoroughly, interview all the parties involved and eyewitnesses, and take pictures of the scene. They will then make the accident report which typically includes the following information:

    • Weather and road conditions at the time of the crash
    • The time and date
    • The contact and insurance details of the involved drivers
    • The precise location of the collision
    • Description of vehicle damage
    • A drawing of the accident
    • Statements from all involved parties and witnesses
    • Traffic citations issued
    • Notes regarding who or what is responsible for the crash
  • Does the Insurance Company Always Agree With the Police Report?

    A common misconception of car accident victims is that their insurance payout is practically guaranteed when the police report mentions that another driver is at-fault for the accident. While the police report carries some weight, the insurance company typically conducts a separate investigation which may have a different outcome.

    After the investigation, an insurance company may disagree with the police officer’s opinion in the crash report. Therefore, even if the police report says another driver is at-fault, the insurer may still deny your claim. Having a determined car accident lawyer by your side can be crucial for arguing your case and helping you receive what you deserve.

  • My Police Report Contains Mistakes; Can I Correct It?

    Finding out that the police accident report contains mistakes can be frustrating, especially if the errors sabotage your case. You may feel that you have to do something to protect your claim. However, here is why you should resist the temptation to alter a police report:

    Even if you are amending your copy of the police report, the original is with the law enforcement department responsible and cannot be changed. Insurers usually consider the original report. Moreover, trying to amend your police report may even backfire, as you could be accused of manipulating evidence to increase your settlement amount.

    If there are significant errors in the police report that could jeopardize your recovery, tell your lawyer, who will be able to fix it, if necessary. Your attorney can take the legally correct steps to amend the police report and inform the judge and jury of any mistakes and changes in the police report if your case goes to trial.

  • How Can I Protect My Rights After an Accident?

    Knowing what to do if you are involved in an accident can be crucial for getting what you deserve later. In most accidents, especially when injuries are involved, staying at the crash scene and dialing 911 immediately for law enforcement is critical. If you can, try to collect evidence that could help you with a claim, such as:

    • Photographs of the accident and vehicle damage
    • Notes of how the crash happened and who or what may have caused it  
    • Contact details and insurance information of all involved drivers
    • Eyewitness contact details

    Contact a car accident attorney to protect your rights and determine your best next steps if you have significant injuries and car damage.

  • Police Did Not Attend My Accident; What Should I Do Now?

    Depending on the severity of your crash, law enforcement may decide not to attend your accident, particularly when property damage is minor, and there are no injuries. However, knowing what to do to protect yourself can be critical, as car accident victims may develop injuries later.

    Ensure you collect all the crucial information, such as other drivers’ contact and insurance details. If there are any witnesses, ask them for their contact details, as they could help your case. Most importantly, file a police accident report as soon as possible, providing law enforcement with all the details you gathered. You can do this by visiting or phoning the nearest police station. In some states, you can file an accident report online.

    The information you provide to law enforcement could be critical in determining fault and liability for the accident and damages. Therefore, ensure to mention every detail. Filing an honest, accurate, and detailed police report can help with the insurance claims process.

  • Should I Give a Recorded Statement to the Other Driver’s Insurer?

    Contact an attorney to protect your legal rights if the at-fault driver’s insurance company tries to push you into giving a recorded statement. Firstly, you are not legally obligated to provide a recording. Doing so could severely harm your insurance claim or legal case. Insurers may even use the statement to deny or minimize your claim. Therefore, it is usually best to refuse and get legal advice on how to proceed.

  • Morgan & Morgan Has Your Back

    Once you put a car accident behind you and concentrate on your recovery, the actual struggle begins to get what you deserve from the at-fault party. While you can get a police report online, by mail, or in person, the report itself may not be enough to protect your rights and help you receive the settlement you need and deserve.

    This is when Morgan & Morgan’s experienced and tenacious car accident lawyers can step in and fight tooth and nail for your rights. We can obtain police reports, build your case against the responsible party, and fight your case at trial if necessary. You don’t pay a dime unless we win. Contact us today to discover your options in a free, no-obligation consultation.

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