How to Get a Police Report
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New Jersey is a no-fault insurance state. That means in most cases your own automobile insurance company is supposed to pick up the medical bills after a collision. If the accident was not your fault, you also have the possibility of recovering for your pain and suffering, as well as other damages you may have sustained. But to recover compensation that way, you’ll have to sue the negligent driver. The first step in this process is to procure the crash report.
Free Police Report Courtesy of Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C.
Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C., is happy to assist you with getting your crash report at no cost. Please give our New Jersey personal injury attorneys a call at (609) 240-0040 or use the form below. That’s it! We’ll take care of the rest.
In New Jersey, you’re required to report every accident that causes death, injury, or over $500 of damage to the nearest police force or State Police by the “quickest means of communication.” All accidents must be reported, in writing, within 10 days. For minor accidents and hit-and-runs, you can fill out the Motor Vehicle Accident Report and submit it to the NJ Department of Transportation.
However, if the police submit a report, you do not need to. This report is typically available within five days of investigating the collision, and their report will generally carry more weight in court. Don’t take any chances – always call law enforcement after a two-car collision. The police officer who responds to your call will take down vital information about the scene and the drivers. If possible, he or she will list:
- the cause of the crash,
- the conditions existing at the time,
- which vehicles were involved,
- address, telephone number, and insurance information for the drivers,
- whether either driver was using a cell phone,
- any other traffic violations, like a driver not wearing a seatbelt.
Ideally, a detailed crash report will show your insurance company what happened and give you proof against the other driver.
Every citizen of New Jersey has the right, during regular business hours and under supervision, to inspect and copy accident reports and also has the right to purchase copies of the reports. (NJ Rev Stats § 39:4-131) To get a copy of your police report, you can:
- Go to the police department in person. You may make your request in person at the police department in the municipality where the accident occurred anytime during normal business hours.
- Mail in a request. If copies of reports are requested other than in person, a fee is added to cover the administrative costs. Upon request, the police department shall send a certified accident report to you through the mail or via fax, but may require you to provide a completed request form and the appropriate fee prior to faxing or mailing it out | Download Request Form.
- Request a copy of your report online. An uncertified copy of your police report can be retrieved online for $13, by credit or debit card only. You will be asked to provide either the case number, the license plate number, the driver’s license number, or the last name of the person involved. Pulling the report may take anywhere from one day to a week depending on its stage of processing. While reports ordered using real-time search are typically available within a week, the requests based on crash details may take up to three months. You will receive an email with instructions for how to download the report, and it will be accessible for 14 days. | Request a Non-Toll Crash Report
For accidents occurring on the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway, you can purchase the crash report from www.BuyCrash.com. You will need to provide the date of the incident and the last name of the person involved. Contact or write to the New Jersey Turnpike Authority Operations Department at (732) 442-8600 ext. 2431 for more information.
For accidents occurring on the Atlantic City Expressway, please call (609) 965-7200 ext. 108 or write to the Atlantic City Expressway Authority, P.O. Box 389, Hammonton, NJ 08037.
Our law firm is happy to assist you in getting your crash report from the agency that responded to your accident. Once we’ve gotten you the report, we’ll ask you to review it for inaccuracies. An omission can be just as harmful as incorrect information, so we’ll help you reach out to the officer who wrote the report to get those details fixed.
We can also review the report for evidence of negligent behavior from the other driver. If the officer issued a citation because the other driver tested positive for impairment at the scene, that may prove your case – and you may be owed significant compensation.
Not all of this evidence is apparent, so don’t hesitate to ask our Princeton car accident lawyers for assistance. Give us a call at (609) 240-0040 and put our 25 years of experience to work for you.
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