If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, or any other incident where law enforcement officers responded, a police report will have been generated. In all of the commotion surrounding an accident, you may forget about the police report, but it is important to request one as soon as possible following an accident.
These reports can be invaluable pieces of evidence for proving liability and damages or for helping your car accident lawyer make your case. Here are some tips for obtaining and using a police report:
Requesting the Police Report
If your name is on the police report, you are entitled to a copy of it. Try to locate the specific police department or agency that responded to your accident. The process for requesting a copy of the report varies by agency, but you are often able to request the report via phone or online. Some agencies may request that you pick up the report in person, while others will email it to you. Be prepared to pay a small fee for a copy of the report. You can avoid additional search fees by your personal information such as name, birthday, address, and accident information such as vehicle VIN number, accident date, and accident type available..
In Nassau County you can use this link to request a police report:
Using the Police Report
Once you have obtained a copy of the police report, you should submit a copy to your personal injury lawyer. Your personal injury lawyer will be able to use the report to gain important information regarding the accident such as personal information on the parties involved, contact information, statements from witnesses and the police officer who responded to the incident, and details of what happened at the accident scene. The police report also contains a preliminary assessment of fault. This information can be vital in proving liability for an accident. Police reports are not always admissible in court, but can be very useful as negotiation leverage and may lead to a settlement outside of court.
While police reports are not necessary for filing a personal injury suit, they can be very useful.
If you or your loved ones have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, contact the Long Island Personal Injury lawyers at The Odierno Law Firm, P.C. for a free consultation today.