Getting into an accident can be traumatic. The event is shocking and disruptive even if there is no injury involved. Whether you caused the crash or the other driver caused it, you will end up dealing with insurance companies. Be prepared, one of the first things the insurance company will ask for is the police report.
If you’ve never been in a serious car accident or truck accident before, you may not know how to obtain the police incident report. After all, you’re busy fielding calls from insurance companies, getting your car repaired, making doctor’s appointments, and arranging to take time off from work because of injuries. What you might not realize is that a police report will have vital information related to your case and your ability to receive the compensation you deserve. It essentially answers the two most important questions you will face after your car accident – what happened and who did the officer find at fault.
So, what exactly is a police report?
A police report is usually created by the investigating officer at the scene of the accident. It contains the following information.
- Date and time the accident occurred
- Location of the accident
- Weather and road conditions at time of accident
- Contact information for all drivers involved
- Insurance information for the involved vehicles
- Additional information about any passengers in the vehicles
- Accident details including diagrams and placement of vehicles at time of accident
- Summary derived from vehicle occupant and any witness statements
- Details regarding any injuries and if anyone received a citation
How do you get a police report?
You can usually obtain a police report in person, via mail, or online via the police department’s website. Usually, the police will provide you with either a case information card or a driver exchange. Neither of these is a full report. The Case Information may provide some critical information such as time and date, and the other party’s information and insurer. If you have any trouble obtaining your crash report, an attorney can help you get the information.
Why do you need a police report?
It contains some initial information that can be used to gather the evidence you will need to properly build your case. For example, the report may contain areas of damage, extent of damage, initial injury indications, diagrams of the crash, witness statements, and sometimes even photographs. Insurance companies often use the crash report as a critical part of their determining who was fault and to better understand the extent of the damage and injuries.
Do you need a police report if no one was hurt?
The short answer is yes. The police report will document critical information needed to help determine who pays for repairs. If the insurance company is fighting your claim, a report would be very helpful to document facts related to the crash.
Weinstein & Cohen can Help
Our experienced and compassionate car accident lawyers can help you navigate your accident claim and answer any questions you may have along the way. At Weinstein & Cohen, we have more than 50 years of combined experience fighting for accident victim’s rights. Our experienced Miami and Naples accident attorneys at Weinstein & Cohen will put your priorities first. If you or someone you care about has been injured or involved in an accident across South Florida or Southwest Florida, contact the Miami and Naples personal injury lawyers at Weinstein & Cohen at 305-374-1011 or 239-793-3331, or visit fairnessforall.com for a free legal consultation to learn more about your options.