How to Get a Police Report After a Car Accident in Phoenix
When you're involved in a car accident you've got a lot on your mind. There are many different things that you have to deal with from the moment the crash happens all the way through your recovery. When it comes to your accident, if you've sustained any injuries, you'll need to visit a medical doctor to get treatment, talk to your insurance company, talk to the police, and even talk to an attorney. It will be difficult to keep track of everything that you need to have in order to make your case, get the settlement you deserve and move on with your life. If you were in a car crash and intend to seek recompense from the at-fault driver, one of the most important documents you can, and must, obtain is a police report.
Why a Police Report is Vital After a Car Accident
When you've been injured in an auto accident in Phoenix, it may not occur to you that perhaps the only way you will be able to get the information you need to seek recompense from the driver that caused your crash and your injuries is with the police report from your accident. A police report takes down vital information about the drivers who are involved in a collision. It can also help insurance adjustors and other interested parties determine not only fault, but also level of fault. The address, telephone number, and other critical information about the other driver involved in your collision will be contained in your police report. In some cases, you may not be able to access your police report. The most common reason for you to not be ale to access your police report is that not enough time has passed since the accident for it to be publicly available. Despite this, you may still be able to get vital information off of the report.
How to Get the Police Report for Your Car Accident
After you've been involved in an auto accident, you'll need a copy of your police report in order to ensure that your auto insurance company has everything that they need to pursue damages against the driver who caused your accident. You will also need a copy of your police report for your personal injury attorney so that they can properly and accurately file all of the necessary paperwork. But getting a copy of your police report isn't as simple as calling up the police department and asking for it to be faxed or emailed to you. To get a copy of your police report, you'll need to follow certain protocols. There are four main ways to get a copy of the police report for your car crash.
Go to the police department in person and ask for a copy of your traffic accident report.
You may make your request in person as the Phoenix Police Department anytime during normal business hours. The office is typically open Monday thru Friday from 8am to 5pm. The police department office is not open on major holidays or weekends, so it is important to make sure that you are aware of these dates in advance so you are not disappointed by a closed facility when you arrive. The local address for the Phoenix Police Department is 1717 North Grant Street, Suite 100 in Phoenix Arizona.
Mail in a request for a copy of the police report from a collision that you were involved in to the Phoenix Police Department.
When you request a report for your car crash by mail there will be a fee associated with your order. This fee is based upon the total number of pages in the report. This means that if your police reports in 10 pages long it will cost more than a report for an accident with only three pages of information.
Download a copy of your police report online.
You may not realize it but in most cases you should be able to obtain a copy of your police report online from the Phoenix Police Department web site, at https://secure.phoenix.gov/phxssld/tars/home.jsf. Unlike requesting your police report by mail, if you were involved in a traffic accident in Phoenix you will be able to retrieve a copy of your police report online at this link for no charge. However, there is some information that you will need to have in order to file your request online. You will be asked to provide the names of the individuals who were involved in the accident, along with a host of other identifying information such the date the accident took place, and if available the number of the police report, also known in some places as a case number. In some cases you may not have all of this information but you may not be able to leave your home or your hospital due to the injuries you sustained as a result of being involved in the car crash. If this is the case, and you need to get your police report online, you may still be able to do so. If you have the name of at least one person (yourself) who was involved in the collision, and the case number associated with your police report you will be able to find, download, and print a copy of your police report online.
In lieu of mailing to or directly dealing with the Phoenix Police Department, you can mail a request to the records department for the city of Phoenix.
If you're uncomfortable visiting the police department, or you are uncomfortable with the online option for retrieving a copy of your police report, or are simply unable to get the system to work for you or find a copy of your police report, there is another way. When you mail in your request, you will still need to make arrangements to pick it up. However, you should not plan to pick up a copy of your police report from the records office unless you have called and verified that your report is ready to be picked up. Many car crash victims are disappointed when visiting the records office to pick up a copy of their police report as they soon find that they have made a special trip to the records office for nothing. Call ahead and check with a records clerk to determine whether your request is ready for pickup. It is also important to make sure that you plan enough time to visit the records office. The records office handles multiple different types of records and record requests and is often busy with many people waiting to make requests and pick up previously registered requests. Long lines and longer wait times can make it difficult to justify obtaining your police report through this method if you are seriously injured.
What to Do After You Get the Police Report From Your Car Accident
Once you have a copy of the police report from your car accident, it is important that you take a few additional steps to ensure that all of the information is correct so that it can be a useful tool in your recovery and in helping you to seek recompense for the damages done to you by the at fault driver. First, you should be sure to review your police report and ensure that there are no errors or omissions of information on this report. You may not believe that this is possible but many times, the responding officer may create the report and leave off vital information that is stored elsewhere simply as an oversight or because they have many things going on at once. You may notice that your insurance information or that of the other driver is missing. Or you may not be able to find the full name of the other driver. This does not mean that this information is unavailable. You should be able to reach out to the responding officer and get the information you need to fill in the blanks on your police report.
When you are reviewing your police report looking through the list of citations given to the driver at fault for your collision can help provide you with additional perspective. This type of information cannot be used when seeking recompense, especially in a court of law, but it can help you understand what happened and what the other driver may have done wrong that resulted in your accident and injuries.
If your vehicle was taken from the scene of the accident by tow truck, you may need to have a copy of your police report handy to retrieve your vehicle. This is even more critical in cases where family members are collecting vehicles on behalf of a seriously injured victim. In this case, you will also need power of attorney over your loved one in order to make decisions on their behalf or talk about their accident or case with any involved parties.
Other critical documents needed to support your case after a serious Phoenix car accident include photographs of the damage that was done to your vehicle in the course of the accident. Photographs of injuries and medical reports detailing your injuries are also important to winning the case against the at fault driver. The more serious the collision and the outcome, with the most serious outcome being death, the more paperwork you will need to ensure that you get the settlement you deserve and the help you need throughout the entire recovery process.
The Power of a Phoenix Car Accident Police Report
You may not realize it now, but the police report from your accident holds a significant amount of power in helping you to achieve the settlement you deserve. Your personal injury attorney can help you may all the right choices when it comes to your recovery, ensure that you get the very best care, and help you get your life back on track after extensive time under medical supervision or time off from work. Your Phoenix police report holds information regarding the whereabouts of the other driver, the determination of the responding officer as to who was at fault for the accident, and notes on how, when, where, and under what conditions the incident occurred. If you're ready to take the next step after being involved in a serious collision and work out the details of a settlement that will help you through recovery, you can get all the help you need preparing for court, getting access to your police report and other information, and ensuring that the insurance companies treat you fairly by reaching out to a skilled personal injury attorney. For help now, contact attorneys Alexis and Mark Breyer.