December 01, 2021
How to Request an Accident Report
Requesting a police report after a car accident is one of the most critical steps you can take. It might contain the details you need to show another driver’s actions contributed to the collision.
The officer who wrote the report should have written a brief description of the events leading up to the accident. If they indicated they believed the other motorist was at fault, you could hold that motorist liable for your injuries.
Most people don’t know how to request accident reports. If you sustained an injury in a car crash, you should hire a lawyer immediately. They can help you file an insurance claim and obtain a copy of the report and additional evidence to prove what happened.
Elements of an Accident Report
Accident reports consist of information related to a motor vehicle accident. The investigating officer at the scene of the crash will likely speak with you and other individuals involved for an explanation of what happened. They can create an accident report and submit it to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, so you don’t have to file one yourself.
Details you can find on an accident report might include:
- Date, time, and location of the accident
- Names and contact information for all drivers, passengers, and non-motorists involved in the crash
- Party at fault for the accident
- Any traffic citations issued to a driver
- Factors contributing to the collision
- Type of vehicle damage
- Injuries suffered by anyone involved
- Brief description of how the crash occurred
- Reconstruction of the events leading up to the accident in a diagram
Although the officer can include who they believe is at fault in the accident report, it’s not necessarily factual. Law enforcement gives their opinion based on information they obtain at the scene.
Unfortunately, speaking to the drivers isn’t the most reliable way of learning the truth. The at-fault driver could lie about the circumstances to avoid facing liability. If the officer thinks you were responsible, you could face challenges trying to recover compensation from the insurance company.
Reporting a Motor Vehicle Accident
According to Indiana Code 9-26-1-1.1, you must notify the local police department, county sheriff’s office, or 911 if the crash resulted in an injury or death. You don’t have to file an accident report if an officer showed up at the scene of the crash to investigate. They should be the one to submit the report to the appropriate agency.
However, if no one reported the accident to law enforcement, you have to file an accident report yourself. You must submit the report to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles within ten days of the collision date.
Requesting an Indiana Accident Report
There are multiple ways you can request a copy of the accident report. Reports typically aren’t available immediately after the crash. You might have to wait several days or even weeks before you can get a copy.
If you want to make the request in person, you can visit the address below:
50 N. Alabama St., E100, Indianapolis, IN 46204
You can also call (317) 327-3155 for more information about requesting the report. You will need to provide these details to obtain the report:
- Investigating officer’s name
- Date and time of the accident
- Location of the crash
Law enforcement agencies in Indiana also make accident reports available online through BuyCrash. This online service requires a small fee and the information below:
- State and jurisdiction of the accident; and
- Accident report number; or
- Your last name and location of the crash; or
- Your last name and date of the incident.
Your best option for requesting a copy of the accident report is to hire a lawyer. Your lawyer can obtain the report for you and review the information to determine whether the other driver can be held liable.
If the report indicates you were at fault for the crash, there will be obstacles trying to pursue the compensation you need. The other driver’s insurance company likely won’t accept liability for their policyholder and will deny your claim. If that happens, it might be necessary to file a lawsuit.
Speak to an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer Today
Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers has successfully represented Indiana clients in car accident cases. Our award-winning lawyers are no stranger to hard work and dedication. You will be our top priority while we’re working on your insurance claim or lawsuit when you hire us. We will fight to protect your rights and seek the maximum compensation possible.
If you were injured in a car accident in Indiana that wasn’t your fault, do not hesitate to contact the Valparaiso car accident lawyers of Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers. We’re available 24/7 to speak with you when you need us the most. Our legal team cares about giving accident victims an opportunity to face negligent drivers and hold them liable for their actions. You can count on us to provide the legal representation and guidance necessary to get through this difficult ordeal.
Call us at (219) 286-7361 today for a free consultation.