What Is in a Police Accident Report?

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If you are involved in a car accident and make a claim with your insurance carrier, one of the first questions they will probably ask you is whether or not you filed a report with the local police department. It would probably be to your advantage to acquire one if you can find one.

If the police do not arrive at the site of the accident, you should be able to fill out a report by going to the local police station or the Department of Motor Vehicles. The most important thing is to check that all of the information on the report is correct before any mistake may turn into an issue that might end up costing you money.

What details are included on the report that the police create after a car accident?

Why You Should Get a Report From the Police After an Accident

The impartiality of police reports is one of the most significant advantages of these documents, which are used to chronicle what occurred during an accident. This makes it easier for the insurance company or any other legal organizations to have an objective understanding of what took happened.

In the event such information is required as proof, it carries greater weight than what may be deemed “hearsay” between your version of events and the other driver’s version of events.

The police report is essential not just for filing an insurance claim but also for providing evidence in a prospective civil or criminal court action. It is crucial in both of these ways.

What Is in a Police Accident Report?. Source: Freepik.com

What information may be found in the Police Accident Report?

Any report that is written on the accident should always include the fundamental details about what happened. Check that the following information is both present and complete before continuing.

When and when exactly the accident took place

Details are key. Not only should the day, month, and year be included in the date, but also the exact time should be included. In addition to that, it is a good idea to keep track of the day of the week.

Regarding the location, you should provide extremely detailed details. Check to see that everything that should be included is, including but not limited to:

  • County
  • To town or to city
  • Highway, street, thoroughfare, or crossroads and/or junction
  • Road marker
  • Identifier for railroad crossings
  • Any noteworthy landmarks

Additionally, the report must to include a description of the weather that prevailed at the time of the incident.

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Vehicles and Their Drivers

Make sure that your report has all of the relevant information for each driver, such as their name, address, date of birth, and driver’s license number. Examining the other person’s driver’s license might be the simplest solution to the problem.

Tip

It is important for you to check the other driver’s license to see whether it shows that they are required to wear corrective eyeglasses. This is particularly important if it seems that the other driver was not wearing glasses at the time of the collision.

It is essential that the report has complete information for all of the vehicles that were involved, including the year, the manufacturer, and the type, as well as the license plate number.

Passengers and Other Witnesses

When you get to this point, you need to make sure that a police report that was made by a responding officer has all of the relevant information by checking it out.

Despite the fact that passengers are sometimes the most reliable witnesses to an accident, law enforcement authorities do not always take down basic information on passengers until the passengers have been hurt or killed. Is careful to include all of the information you have about passengers whenever you fill out a report, whether it be at the police station or the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Make sure that the statements of any third-party witnesses have been taken down in the police report. Because they do not seem to have any connections to the parties in the dispute, third-party witnesses are sometimes considered to have a higher level of credibility than other types of witnesses.

Encourage the officer who responded to the call to take down the information and statements of any witnesses who came forward. If they don’t provide you the information, you should obtain it for yourself since you never know when it could come in helpful.

Information Regarding Accidents

The great majority of police accident reports are written on printed forms that include designated areas for certain information and, in many instances, check-the-box sections to cover every conceivable and minute detail of what transpired.

Additionally, it will give a spot for the officer to type in any supplementary information that they believe to be significant.

If you are the one who will be filling out the form at the police station or the DMV, you need to make sure that you explain the accident in as much detail as the form will allow, and even more information than that.

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Statements from the Parties and Witnesses

Because here is where you get to provide your point of view on what happened, it is the most significant part of the section for you.

Be careful to go over what the responding officer writes down for you and verify its correctness on the spot if they are the ones taking the report. If this is the case, you should read what they have written. In the event that you have the chance to do so, it is highly recommended that you go through the statements that were made by the other parties and witnesses.

If you are reviewing an accident report from the police and find an inaccuracy, you need to notify them as soon as possible. If the issue is a genuine one, such as a misspelled name or an inaccurate license number — something that can be readily verified — you will probably find it easy to remedy the problem.

Do not have the expectation that you will be able to amend anything that amounts to a conclusion that was made by the person who took the report, even if you consider that the conclusion is based on inaccurate facts.

Important

Keep in mind that it is difficult to exaggerate how important it is for a police accident report to be factual and comprehensive.

What Should Be Done in the Event of Accidents on Private Property?

It is not possible for the police to attend to every minor collision that occurs in a parking lot or driveway.

If there are not significant injuries, the police are unlikely to come to the grocery store parking lot to file a complaint if your car is damaged there. If there are substantial injuries, however, they will. This indicates that you will be responsible for taking down the content on your own.

The information that is often included in a police report and the information that is necessary to file a claim for auto insurance when the accident happened on private land are quite similar. Even if you may not have access to a police report form, you still need to make sure that your personal paperwork has all of the essential information.

How to Obtain a Copy of the Report Filed by the Police

When the police go to the site of an accident in which you were involved and draw up a report, the officer who writes the report will often give you a report identifying number as part of the paperwork.

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You will be able to acquire a copy of the police report if you phone the police department that was responsible for issuing the report; however, the document may not be immediately accessible.

How a Police Accident Report Will Impact Your Insurance Claim

When should I call the police after I’ve been in an accident?

Even if the legislation in your state offers you a grace period of ten days, thirty days, or anything else, you should nonetheless report an accident to the authorities as soon as possible after it occurs. In some circumstances, if you take more than a certain period of time to complete something, you could be required to show paperwork confirming the reasons why you were unable to hand it in sooner.

Does the accident report get sent to the insurance company automatically?

Your insurance company will not necessarily get a copy of the police report when one is filed. When you submit a claim by calling or contacting your insurer, they may urge you to provide the documentation to them instead.

How long do you have after an accident occurs before you have to report it to the police?

The length of time that you have to report an accident to the authorities differs from state to state. For example, you have ten days after the accident to file a report in the state of New York.  You have up to a month’s time in the state of Missouri. 6 Be careful to verify the rules of the state in where you reside to see what the prerequisites are in your area.

Key Takeaways

  1. The important details of an accident are documented in the form of a police car accident report.
  2. You may file a report at the local police station or the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) if the police do not arrive at the site.
  3. In most cases, the date and location of the incident, as well as the names of the drivers and cars involved, witness testimonies, and further information, are included in police reports.
  4. In the event that the police do not come to an accident that occurs on private property, such as a fender bender in a parking lot, you may be required to record the pertinent information on your own.

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