How To Get An Accident Report In Alabama

The car accident report is a crucial part of every insurance claim. Even if the accident report is not conclusive proof of what happened, the insurance companies are often going to give some deference to what the police officer who investigated the crash has found. Although the police report may not be a conclusive statement about who was responsible for the crash, it is certainly something that the insurance companies will consider when determining liability. Therefore, it is essential that you get a copy of the police report to include with an insurance claim. Contact Steve Morris Law to learn more about your legal options after an Anniston car accident.

What Is in an Accident Report?

Once a police officer has been called to the scene, they will be tasked with writing a report that details what they saw and learned when they arrived. The officer may talk to both of the drivers and Witnesses who saw what happened. They would begin to write an accident report that may include the following pieces of information:

  • The time and date the accident occurred
  • The identities of the drivers involved in the accident and their license and insurance information
  • Any injuries suffered by the drivers
  • Conditions at the scene when the officer arrived
  • The observations the officer made when they arrived and investigated
  • A diagram of the position of the cars observed by the officer
  • Any citations that the officer issued to one or both of the drivers
  • Contact information for witnesses who saw the crash and brief summaries of what they saw

How to Get a Copy of the Car Accident Report

You may not be given a copy of the police report at the scene of the accident. The officer has not finalized the report by the time they have left the scene. You can expect the car accident report to be available within ten business days after the accident.

It is your obligation to obtain a copy of the accident report. You can request it online or through the mail.

Usually, it is easier to request the report online. You would have been given a seven-digit crash number which you can use to look up and find the report. Alternatively, you can search for a copy of the report online by entering a driver’s license number. Each copy of the accident report costs $15. If you were unable to obtain a copy of the accident report yourself, your lawyer can help you.

A Lawyer Uses the Accident Report as a Starting Point for the Investigation

You would provide your attorney with the accident report once you have obtained it. This document would be one of the first things that your lawyer would review as part of their investigation into your car accident.

Car accident reports may give your lawyer a starting point for their own investigation by containing leads and contact information for witnesses.

It is crucial that you obtain the accident report as soon as it becomes available. There are times when the police officer may have made a mistake, and information on the report could be wrong. You may find it critical to have a conversation with the police officer, so they can correct any errors the report contains.

However, if too much time passes, the officer may not be willing to change the report or accept your side of the story. You need to act while recollections of the accident are still fresh.

How an Accident Report Is Used in an Alabama Car Accident Claim

The accident report cannot be introduced into court as evidence if you are filing a lawsuit against the other driver. Under rules of evidence, the accident report would be considered hearsay because the police officer did not see the accident themselves. The report may be relating what others saw, but a police officer is not in a position to conclusively determine fault for the accident.

Nonetheless, insurance companies will rarely disagree with what a police officer says when they are reviewing the accident report. The insurance companies will figuratively sit down with each other to determine liability, reviewing everything that they know about the accident to date. The accident report is a relatively persuasive document that can work in your favor when the police officer relates factors that could mean the other driver was at fault.

Contact an Alabama Car Accident Lawyer Today

Car accident claims are never cut and dry. The insurance company is out to compromise your legal rights, so they can pay you less than you deserve in compensation. When you hire an experienced car accident attorney, they will stand up for you and work for you to get every dollar that you deserve. Steve Morris Law has a track record of helping car accident victims get all the compensation to which they are entitled.

You can speak with an attorney today during a free initial consultation by calling us at 256-357-9211 or sending us a message through our website. You owe us nothing unless you win your case.

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