Obtaining and Using a Police Report

If you have been involved in an accident, it may have been investigated by the police, who then made an accident report in many cases. The police report could be used by you and your attorney in a lawsuit and investigation, and the information within can be very helpful. The contents of a police report will typically contain the date and time of the accident, the specific details, description of the driver, names of all witnesses, and more. These things can be extremely beneficial when you are trying to piece together the bits of the accident puzzle, which can prove to be a laborious process.

What Steps Must I Take to Get a Copy of the Report?

You may have been made aware of the name of the agency involved with obtaining your police report. You can locate them in the phone book or on the Internet as a next step, and then call them to obtain the copy. While requesting your police report copy, you may be told that you will have to pay a small fee to cover photocopying, and the agency may require that you appear in person to pick it up. However, some agencies may mail you a copy at no further charge.

The Benefits of a Police Report in Your Injury Case:

  • When informal settlement discussions take place, you and your attorney can use the facts and conclusions of the police report to gain advantage on issues.
  • You can gain advantage on circumstances of the incident like time of day, date, and specific location of the accident.
  • You may be able to determine a preliminary assessment of fault. A police report may contain something like a responding officer’s observations as to which driver might have violated the state’s vehicle code, or whose carelessness may have caused the accident in the first place.

Amending a Police Report

Police reports aren’t always accurate in every case. This is why it’s a good thing that police reports can be amended in certain circumstances. Amending factual errors in reports are relatively simple; however, amending a disputed fact like who was at fault may be very difficult. You can get into touch with your local department to learn about appropriate steps to take if you believe there was a mistake and you need to amend the report. In many cases, that may involve simply adding your statement to the report.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident and are in the midst of a personal injury lawsuit, you may want to speak to an experienced attorney about your case. It’s important to consider a lawyer that is familiar with the laws and, at MDL, we have the experience you are looking for. Call today for a free consultation and review of your claim to see where you stand!