If you got hurt in a car accident in New Jersey, the police report will be valuable evidence for your injury claim. It can help to know how to get a copy of the accident report so that you do not have to make a dozen phone calls and get transferred from one department to another.
A New Jersey car accident attorney can order the police report if you have them handle your personal injury claim. In case you prefer to get the report for yourself, here is what you need to know about how to get a police report in New Jersey.
The Information You Will Need to Order a Copy of the Police Report
If the police came to the scene of the collision and wrote a report, the officer will likely give you their business card and write the police report number or incident number on the card. You can still obtain a copy of the report if you do not have that number, but knowing the number makes the process easier.
You will need to know:
- Which police department came to the scene and investigated the crash
- The incident or report number
- The date of the accident
- The location of the collision
You could go into the police department in person and fill out a request for a copy of the report. Often, if you were one of the involved drivers, the office will provide a copy of the report while you are there.
If you prefer not to go into the police station in person, you could mail a request form with the appropriate fee to the police department. Another option is to make your request online and pay the fee by credit or debit card. You can request a certified copy by mail or request an uncertified copy online. Both mail and online requests require you to wait for a week or two before you receive the report or a link to the report.
What Happens if the Police Did Not Come to the Scene of the Accident?
If the police did not make an accident report, New Jersey law requires you to submit a written accident report to the closest station or the New Jersey State Police within 10 days of the collision if anyone got hurt or died or if there was more than $500 or property damage. If you were involved in a “fender-bender” or a hit-and-run accident, you can send the report to the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
What to Do if the Police Report Contains Errors?
Many accident reports contain factual errors. These mistakes could get used by the other driver to falsely blame you for the collision. You should always take photos of the crash site, the license plates, and all sides of each vehicle while you are still at the scene.
Sometimes, the officer will acknowledge the mistake and write a supplement report that corrects the initial report. The best chance of getting the police report corrected is if you get a copy of your report as soon as it is ready and check it for accuracy. You will want to contact the officer right away about any errors while the officer can still remember what happened. Always be polite and respectful, and describe the evidence you have that can prove what actually happened. A New Jersey personal injury attorney can handle your personal injury case and help you seek the compensation you deserve. Contact our office today for legal assistance, we gladly offer a free consultation.