Getting Your Hands on the Official Crash Report
If you are interested in pursuing legal action after a car accident, then you will probably need to get a copy of the official crash report. To request a copy of the official report, you will need to visit your local DMV. While many people might shy away from this process because they worry about the intricacies of legal paperwork, requesting an accident report is straightforward.
Requesting By Mail
That’s right; you can request a crash report by mail, meaning that you do not even have to go into the DMV. To request a report this way, you will need to know the date of the accident as well as where it occurred, specifically what county. Also, you will need your license number, plate number and date of birth. Also, you will need to use the appropriate form for making such a request.
Everything is so streamlined nowadays. The DMV in most states and areas allows easy access to forms online, which means that instead of filling out the paper forms and mailing them in, you can do everything digitally. However, beyond the necessary information above, you may need a case number.
Timing is Everything
While the DMV is the go-to source for official crash reports, it is essential to note that accident reports take time to formulate and publish. Therefore, before you go rushing to your local branch office, be sure that you have given adequate time for the delivery and availability of the report. Electronically filed incident reports are often available within 14 days of the accident. However, that timeline more than doubles to at least 30 days when the officer supplies a paper form. Also, if you, the motorist, files the report and not an officer, then the wait time jumps to at least 60 days. Therefore, find out the filing method and give adequate time before requesting a copy of the report.
Not Anyone Can Request a Copy
Accident reports are legal documents, and as such, they are not available to just anyone. In order to request a crash report, you must be named in the document or represent someone who is. You can also be a part of a pending civil action or, again, representing someone who is.
Accident reports are necessary for most car crash claims, and they are relatively easy to get your hands on. However, if you have representation, then you do not have to request the report on your own. Contact your car accident lawyer in Trenton, NJ and ask them to get a copy for you.
Thanks to Davis & Brusca for their insight into personal injury claims and getting the official crash report after a car accident.