How Do I Get A Car Accident Police Report?
At Chaffin Luhana, we often hear “how do I get a car accident police report,” from prospective clients. In this post, we’ll provide the answer. After reading it, you may want to contact us here to discuss your case. Please remember that our consultations are always free.
Two ways to obtain an accident report
There are two primary ways to obtain an accident report. One is free; the other may cost a minimal sum:
- Use the receipt the officer gave you at the time of the accident: Call the traffic enforcement department of the agency that dispatched the officer and ask for a copy of the report. The clerk may ask for the ID number on the receipt. If you no longer have the receipt, tell the clerk the date, location, and approximate time of your accident. Obtaining the report costs about $15 in most jurisdictions.
- Contact your insurance company: In many cases, your insurer will have requested a copy of the report for their records. Obtaining a copy through this method is typically free.
Remember that the officer who conducted the on-site investigation may take a few days or even weeks to file the report. You may need to exercise patience.
In the meantime, write down everything you remember about the incident and save any photos you may have taken. Hold on to any contact information you obtained from witnesses, as this can prove decisive later.
What the accident report will contain
Officers make every effort to ensure that these reports are accurate and comprehensive. Typically, the information they contain will include:
- Date, time, and place where the accident occurred.
- Contact and insurance information for all parties involved.
- The approximate level of damage (if any) to affected vehicles.
- Environmental conditions at the time: Including the weather, temperature, road conditions, and lighting (bright day, dark evening, streetlamps, etc.).
- Witness statements: This information is inherently subjective, as eyewitnesses sometimes forget key details or insert perceptions that don’t match the facts.
- Appraisal of fault: The officer will probably include their opinion as to who or what caused the accident. As with witness statements, this information may contain as much subjective opinion as objective fact.
- Pittsburgh auto accident attorneys are trained to spot possible inaccuracies and challenge them if they compromise their client’s case.
What to do if you disagree with the police report
Accident victims don’t always agree with the information contained in the report. Remember that you have the legal right to challenge any claims which you feel are inaccurate or misleading.
Usually, however, this is a task best left for car accident lawyers. They have the specialized training and experience needed to separate obvious facts from apparent misperceptions.
This is one reason why it’s important to contact personal injury attorneys in Pittsburgh from our firm. Our expertise can prove critical to getting the compensation you deserve for your injuries and related expenses.
Knowing when to consult Pittsburgh car accident lawyers
Whether or not to talk to an attorney after a car accident is a personal decision. In most cases, though, it’s a good idea. It takes a skilled legal professional to spot aspects of a case that laypeople and even insurance companies can sometimes miss.
That’s where we come into the picture. Get in touch with us today if you’ve suffered injuries or other losses due to an auto collision. We make sure your story is told, and your injuries are not minimized.
And don’t worry about incurring big legal fees. If we take your case, we’ll work on contingency, so you’ll never have to worry about out-of-pocket costs. Finally, we provide a caring, compassionate team that is available to you 24/7.