The officer who responds to your car accident can tell you how to obtain a copy of your police report.
The process for obtaining a police report can differ between cities and between police departments. However, in Indiana, you can also purchase your police report at buycrash.com.
Not every state puts police reports on BuyCrash, but Indiana does. Police reports are available on BuyCrash for a small fee. As of May 2019, that fee is $12.
If you’re ever unsure how to get the police report for your car accident, contact the local or state department that responded to the crash and ask. The police report might be a vital piece of evidence for your car accident claim, so it’s important to obtain the police report after your crash.
One of the first things a car accident law firm will do is take a look at your police report. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you can contact a car accident attorney even if you haven’t purchased your report yet. In some circumstances, your car accident lawyer can purchase the police report for you.
Why Is the Police Report Important for My Insurance Claim?
The insurance company relies on police reports in several ways.
A police report can help establish details of the car accident. It may also include citations issued to any of the drivers. Sometimes it contains a description of the damages or even a diagram.
This information helps the insurance company figure out who is at fault.
Indiana is a fault state. That means that the amount of compensation a car accident victim can expect to receive is related to the percentage of fault they hold for causing the car accident.
For example, let’s say you bear 15 percent of the fault for your car accident. The at-fault driver’s insurance company will likely reduce your compensation for your injuries and other damages by 15 percent.
If you’re more than 51 percent at fault, then you are the at-fault driver in the car accident. As the at-fault driver, your options for recovery are limited to your own car insurance, not the insurance of any other drivers.
Dealing with a Disagreement or Mistake on the Accident Report
Because police reports play such an important role in insurance claims, they can be the source of plenty of disagreement.
If something is incorrect on your police report, you may be able to get it changed. However, it depends on the nature of the disagreement.
Sometimes, the report contains a factual mistake. This could include insurance coverage information, location of the car accident, or the type of vehicles involved.
To correct a factual mistake, contact the officer who wrote the report and request a change as soon as possible.
Sometimes, the report contains a difference of opinion. For example, you might dispute violating a traffic law. The report may list you as the at-fault driver, even though you’re convinced the other driver was at fault.
These issues, unlike factual mistakes, aren’t easy to verify. The police likely won’t change your police report based on differences of opinion alone.
Remember, the police report is just one element of the insurance company’s investigation. It will also consider other types of evidences such as photographs and witness statements. An incorrect or unflattering police report doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have a case.
Ways to Avoid Mistakes on an Accident Report
It can take a couple of days to get your accident report. By then, it’s often difficult to prove if there’s a mistake in the report.
The best thing you can do is write your own version of what happened shortly after the car accident. Include as much detail as possible.
At the scene of a car accident, stress and other emotions can get in the way of accuracy. Take the time to calm down before speaking to police to avoid making a mistake. Rushing to explain may cause confusion. Before the officer leaves the scene, be sure to verify basic facts like your insurance and vehicle information.
Even if the police refuse to change your accident report, an Indiana car accident attorney can still use other forms of evidence to support your claim.
Importance of Filing a Report and Seeking Legal Counsel after an Indiana Car Accident
In Indiana, the law requires you to contact the police whenever there are injuries or at least $1,000 in property damage.
Estimating the amount of damage can be tricky. When in doubt, contact the police anyway to report the accident.
If you’ve been injured, an Indiana car accident lawyer can fight for your right to compensation. Call Hensley Legal Group at (317) 472-3333, or contact us online for a free conversation about your case.
Be sure to download our free ebook, Consumer’s Guide for Injured Victims, for more information about car accident claims.