You’re in a car accident. It wasn’t your fault.
One of the first things that you think of (assuming you’re not seriously injured) is how to get the insurance company to compensate you for the damage to your car.
To get compensated fairly you’ll need to get the police report on the accident. However, one of the main blunders you’re likely to make after being in a car accident you’ve been involved an accident is to forget to get a copy of the car accident police report.
If you do forget to get a copy at the scene, you definitely want to get your hands on it before you file a claim with the insurance company. Because, if you don’t have it, you risk being denied your insurance claim if the claim is not accompanied by a police report.
So, what do you do if you didn’t get a copy of it at the scene? Here are a few suggestions…
How to access a copy of the car accident police report from the police
First thing to try is to call the number of the police officer that that was at the scene of the accident and made the report. (It’s always a good idea to get the contact info of the officers that report to the scene as soon as they get there to record the accident details.
If by chance you failed to get their contact info at the time of the accident, call the police station and request the name and contact info of the officer. It’s a good idea to have the details of the accident handy to help the officer to remember your case.
Once you reach the office, introduce yourself, give them the necessary details and request a copy of the report.
Keep in mind that sometimes you may have trouble getting a hold of the officer. (Hey, they’re busy people so don’t get frustrated!)
If you are having trouble reaching them, try calling the receptionist at the police department or contact the courthouse clerk. Ask them out what department has your car accident report.
Then you’ll need to physically visit the courthouse or the police department to get a copy of the report. Oh, and a little tip in this case… carry some cash with you since you are likely to be asked to pay a fee.
In the event that you fail to get the car accident police report from the police department or the courthouse, contact either your insurance company or the insurance company of the other party involved in the accident. Ask them to mail you the report if they have it.
A little patience and persistence are advised if the search turns frustrating… it’s worth the effort!!
Check your car accident police report online
In case you have problems finding your car accident police report, you might be able to check the report online. There are several sites offering such information. You’ll just need to provide a few personal details.
Keep in mind, however, that most of the information contained online is not certified. That means you’ll want to verify it with the relevant authorities.
What to do with the Car Accident Police Report
Once you have the report in your hands, make sure that you review it to make sure that you agree with the official version of the events.
Analyze the report with the goal of supporting your account of the events surrounding the car accident.
If the official report states that you were at fault, prepare to file a formidable defense. Remember that such a defense will help you to either be cleared of any wrongdoing or at least can lessen the punishment and penalty that the courts may decide.
A car accident attorney
In the event that the report does not sit well with your view of the events, it’s highly recommended you hire a good car accident attorney. Among other things, a good car accident attorney can help you understand the police report and note anything in it that may help you… or work against your case.
Many car accident lawyers offer a free consultation. So look around and maybe even meet with a few attorneys. Depending on the report, they can either help defend you if you’re found to be at fault or, if the other party is to blame, help you get the compensation you deserve.