How Do You Get an Accident Report in New Jersey?

By Greg Kohn

Getting into an accident can be a scary affair. Aside from physical damage to your vehicle that can be costly, the aftermath of a crash can leave you and other loved ones with serious injuries. In cases like this, a New Jersey car accident attorney will strongly recommend you obtain a copy of the police report so that you have the evidence you need to prove your case against the other driver.

Immediately Following an Accident

Immediately after an accident, people’s attention is usually on responding to and getting treatment for any injuries that may have occurred. This is of course, your highest priority. Beyond that, it is important to get as much information as you can about the details of the accident, including photos of the vehicles, the contact information of witnesses, and the license plate numbers of other cars involved.

All of this information will serve as an important resource for you as you and your attorney build your case. Of course, another critical source of information after a car crash is the official accident report. Reports are filled out by responding police officers and contain all of the facts behind an accident.

How Do I Get An Accident Report?

Car accident reports must be filed in New Jersey if the crash led to injury, death, or caused over $500 in property damage. Reports must be submitted within 10 days to law enforcement authorities and must list the circumstances of an accident and provide as much detail as possible.

There are a couple of steps to take if you are trying to get an accident report.

  1. Contact Local Law Enforcement: You should first reach out to the law enforcement agency that responded to the accident. If the crash took place inside of a town or city, this usually means the municipal police department was on the scene. If the crash was outside a city or town, a Sheriff or the State Police are usually sent to respond.
  2. Fill Out A Records Request Form: The vast majority of law enforcement agencies will ask you to fill out a records request form before having access to an accident report. Some departments will let you fill out the request online, while others might ask you to submit a request in person.The New Jersey State Police has an online real-time search program where people can look up crash information by plugging in license plate numbers or the last names of drivers. According to their website, allow for one business day after the accident before you search for a report. Some departments also charge fees for records requests.
  3. Wait For Delivery: After filling out the request, most law enforcement agencies will promptly give access to the accident report so you can review the information.

If you or someone you love has been involved in an automobile accident, an experienced car accident attorney will be able to advise you on your options and review pertinent details about the crash to help build a case.  Contact our team at Nagel Rice, LLP today to discuss your options after a car accident.

About the Author
Greg Kohn is a partner at Nagel Rice and specializes in complex civil litigation cases, including professional malpractice, personal injury, class actions, wrongful death, products liability, and commercial litigation.  He has extensive experience representing clients in both state and federal court. Greg has tried many jury trials to verdict and has recovered over $50 million in settlements and verdicts in all types of personal injury matters including automobile accidents, wrongful death cases, slip and falls, and other catastrophic injury cases. Greg also handles medical malpractice cases, involving misdiagnoses, wrongful birth, and delayed cancer diagnosis. If you have questions regarding this article, you can contact Greg here.