How to Obtain a Police Report Following an Accident
The first step after a car accident is to call 911 for help. The 911 operator dispatches law enforcement officers and emergency medical services to the accident scene. The officers investigate the cause of the crash and complete a police report. Obtaining a copy of the police report can help you when you file an insurance claim. You can request a copy of the police report yourself, or you can let a New Jersey car accident attorney handle that matter for you.
How Do I Get a Traffic Accident Report or Police Report in New Jersey?
The procedure for obtaining a copy of the police report for your car accident depends on the agency that responded to the crash. If the New Jersey State Police processed the crash scene, you can obtain a copy of the accident report on their website. You can also request a copy of the police report by mail. Lastly, you can request the report in person, but you should check with the local investigating station regarding hours of operation and any specific rules for requesting copies in person.
If another agency responded to the crash, you might find the report online at BuyCrash.com. Some local police departments and parkway crash reports can be purchased and downloaded through the website.
Some local law enforcement agencies have accident report portals that allow you to obtain a copy of the police report online, including the Atlantic City Police Department. You can check with the local law enforcement agency that handled the car accident to determine if you can purchase the police report online or if the office requires an in-person or mailed request for copies.
If you are in a car accident, ask the police officer how to obtain a copy of the report and when the report will be available. The officer might give you the information at the accident scene so that you do not need to search for it later. Again, if you have hired or will be hiring a personal injury attorney, your attorney’s office is likely to handle obtaining a copy of a police report from your crash.
Why Is the Police Report from an Accident Important?
The police report contains information that can help or hurt your insurance claim. Therefore, your attorney wants to carefully report the police report to follow up on any matters of concern. For example, did the officer note that you refused medical treatment at the accident scene. Why did you refuse medical treatment? Is there a reasonable explanation? Your lawyers need to know to prepare for an allegation by the insurance company that you were not seriously injured because you did not bother to go to the hospital after the crash.
Other important information on the police report includes:
- Name and contact information for all drivers
- Names and contact information for passengers
- A brief explanation of how the collision occurred
- Whether the officer charged either driver
- Potential witness names and contact information
- Information about the weather and road conditions at the time of the crash
- Whether either driver contributed to the cause of the crash
The police report is not conclusive proof of fault. It can, however, help your lawyer with the accident investigation.
Contact a New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney with Questions
If you have any questions or concerns, we can help. Our office obtains copies of police reports and accident reports once a client retains our firm. Schedule a consultation with our New Jersey car accident lawyers today to discuss your traffic accident and how we can help you seek the compensation you deserve.
Posted in: Automobile Accidents