Officially called accident reports, a crash report is the police offer’s formal account of the scene of the accident. However, you can still file an accident report even if an officer doesn’t respond to the scene. How does that work? To fully understand, you’ll need to know about crash reports and know the purpose, how to get them, and when to use them. A car accident lawyer in Toledo can help you understand.
What is an Accident Report?
This report goes by many names including accident report, crash report, and even police report. They all refer to the same document, and you do have a right to file one after an accident.
A crash report will contain information such as who was at the scene. That includes the drivers, passengers, any witnesses, and even the name of the police officer who responded. Then it includes a good chunk of fact-based information as well, such as where the crash happened, the time and date as well as the weather or road conditions.
Some police may provide a diagram of the accident showing which way each car was traveling and how they collided. Other police reports may include statements from the witnesses and their contact information. Usually, a crash report will end with an opinion from the police officer stating who they believe was responsible.
Now, not every police report is this detailed and it’s possible that a police officer wouldn’t be writing it because you can file a police report without a responding officer after an accident to go to the Sheriff’s Office or contact your local police department and request to file a report.
How Can I Get My Ohio Accident Report?
In Toledo, Ohio it’s fairly easy to access your accident report. You simply go online to the crash retrieval system and enter the applicable information. When filing a police report, be sure to ask for your crash and document numbers. Keep these in an easy to find location so you can reference them easily.
If you don’t have your crash and document numbers, then you can use alternate information to search through numerous crash reports to find yours. Other search criteria include the crash date, county, Law Enforcement agency, and your name or email address. The more criteria you use to search the fewer unrelated results you’ll have to sort through.
When to Use a Crash Report In a Claim
A crash report can become a vital piece of evidence or give you a way to access witnesses for further statements. In either situation, you need a copy of the police report and will need to submit it to your attorney or insurance provider.
When working with an attorney, they’ll proactively contact any witnesses on the report. They’ll speak with these witnesses to ensure that your version of events lines up with what is in the police report, and any other statements you’ve made. They’ll also ask them to provide an affidavit and possibly to participate in a deposition.
After handling the witnesses, the crash report will serve as an explanation of the accident. Your attorney may have had you wait to provide a statement to your insurance company. But, this document shows a recounting of the crash directly after it happened. Both statements will help, but the police report is a good reference for you to say that’s what it was like right after the wreck.
Finally, you can rely on the officer’s opinion. Although it is an opinion, many lawyers rely on the officer’s input because they see car accidents every day. What they say is not outright fact, but it can resolve many outstanding questions that a judge or insurance adjuster may have about the accident.
Contact A Toledo Attorney for Auto Accidents
After any crash, you might follow the very basic procedure of calling your insurance and snapping a few images. However, that’s not the end of an accident claim when filing for a claim in the hope of recovering the financial loss associated with property damage and medical bills you’ll need to defend your side.
That means you need some formal reporting to show the insurance companies that your statement is true. An insurance company will put a bit of weight into a formal report. To really show them you’re serious about getting fair compensation, you need an attorney.
Ohio Car Accident Lawyers helps the victims of car accidents navigate the tricky process of insurance claims and court cases. Our attorneys will help you through every step and always take into consideration how you would like to resolve your case. Call not for a completely free case review.