Once a phone call is placed to report an accident, a police officer goes to the scene and takes a report of the incident. This report summarizes all the information the investigating officer can get and contains both the facts relating to the incident and the officer’s personal opinion.
If you are seeking compensation for injuries after a car accident, you may need a copy of the police report – especially when going to court, or when you want to face your insurance company.
Our Baton Rouge attorneys at Pierce & Shows are here to help you navigate your way through this difficult time. In this blog, we cover all that you need to know about accessing the police report after a car accident.
How to access your police report after an accident
Before you leave the scene of the accident, make sure you get the officer’s name and badge number, as well as the ID number for your police report so that you can track the report down when you’re ready.
You can get a copy of the police report of your accident for free, but it may take a while.
To get a paid copy, submit a request to the local law enforcement office that sent in an investigating officer.
The next step would be to place a call to the traffic department of your local law enforcement agency that is on the scene. If you forget or misplace the ID number given to you by the investigating officer at the scene of the accident, you can provide the time, date, and location of the accident, as well as your name to help them track your report.
In Louisiana, purchasing the report costs $11.50.
If you want to stick to getting the report for free, ask the insurance adjuster in charge of your claim if they have already requested your report. If they have, ask them to send a copy over to you.
Don’t expect the investigating officer to give you your report immediately, however. It will take a while before it is completed.
What does the crash report contain in Louisiana?
Once at the accident scene, you’ll notice the investigating officer taking notes of the state of the vehicle, talking to people, taking measurements of distance, taking photographs, and writing notes.
They conduct this thorough investigation to draft their crash report.
A typical report is going to contain some or all the following details.
- Approximate date, time, and location of the collision
- Identifying information for parties involved in the car accident, including names, addresses, phone numbers, and insurance information
- Identifying information for witnesses
- Location of damage to the vehicles involved in the accident
- Weather, roadway, and visibility conditions at the scene
- Diagram of the accident
- Statements from the parties and witnesses
- Citations and/or violations of law, and
- Opinions as to the cause of the collision and/or a fault determination.
Irrespective of what is documented in the police report, your insurance company is going to carry out their own investigation, and this is what your insurance company is going to use to determine the fault of the accident.
But having the police report with you – as well as a dedicated Louisiana car accident attorney on your side – is your best bet to accessing the compensation you deserve.
Contact Pierce & Shows today
It’s important to have the police report after your accident because of its details. Unfortunately, there’s a good chance that your insurance company will try to present a different report from what the police compiled, but having the police report will almost always be in your best interest.
Contact our team of Baton Rouge car accident attorneys to help you figure out the next best steps in your accident case.