Posted On April 27, 2016 Personal Injury
When you’re in an accident, documenting what happened is one of the most important steps you can take. But what happens after you file a report with the police or a property owner? How do you get a copy of that report and the crucial information it contains?
The process of getting your car accident report depends on where the crash occurred.
You’ll need to get your car accident report from the police department that responded to the collision, even if it’s far from where you live. Fortunately, many police departments now allow you to download the police report online or request a copy by mail.
In some jurisdictions, the responding police officer will give you a card with information, including their municipality, name, and perhaps a crash identification number. Otherwise, the officer might provide this information orally. If you can, write these details down – it could help you locate your police report later.
Not every accident involves a motor vehicle, or a police response. If you reported your slip and fall or other accident to the property owner or manager, that party likely wrote out an incident report detailing what happened.
Unlike the police, however, the property owner or manager isn’t a neutral party. The person who prepared the incident report may have twisted your statements, left out important details, or added in information that isn’t accurate in an attempt to minimize the responsible party’s negligence.
It’s a good idea to refuse to sign an incident report prepared by a commercial property owner – you have no obligation to sign the document, although the company won’t tell you so. However, it’s also a good idea to get a copy of the report so you know what the other side is saying about how the accident occurred.
You should be able to simply ask management for a copy of the incident report. But if the property owner refuses to comply, you might need to call in a professional.
You don’t have to wait until you have a copy of the accident report in hand to get legal help. Every day, our personal injury attorneys talk to victims who haven’t gotten their reports yet – and we’re able to help.
So if you feel confident that the accident wasn’t your fault but don’t yet have the accident report to show it, that’s okay. We’ll listen to the details of what happened to you and figure out if we’re the right firm to pursue your case. If so, we can get the ball rolling early and even handle the process of getting your accident report for you – and we’ll never charge you extra for the time and effort it takes us to get that report.
If you’re having difficulty locating your accident report, or if you have your accident report but aren’t sure how to interpret the codes used on it, give us a call. We’re happy to help!