A car accident can leave you feeling overwhelmed and scared, especially if the accident wasn’t your fault. You may also have physical injuries or be hospitalized. Many injuries show up immediately, but some don’t present symptoms until hours or days after an accident.
You should see your healthcare provider as quickly as possible after an accident. This helps document your injuries and demonstrates your interest in maintaining your health. After a car accident, there’s also paperwork that must be filled out and filed with the insurance companies involved.
Documentation of your injuries by your healthcare provider is one way to provide evidence to support your claim. Another important factor your personal injury attorney and insurance adjusters will be interested in is the police accident report.
Immediately after a car accident, you should document as much about the accident as you can if you are not seriously injured. Take photos of the scene, the vehicles, your injuries, and the witnesses. Get witness contact information and notice whether there are any surveillance videos at the surrounding businesses or banks. While this information is crucial to help support your claim, it also helps support the information contained in the police accident report.
How Important Is the Accident Report?
During your personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim, you need evidence that shows what happened during the accident. The insurance company, judge, or jury will not just take your word for it. One of those important pieces of evidence is the police report.
Although you may have documentation from eyewitnesses, photographs, or video, the police report is an official written account from a specially trained investigator who is considered neutral. The report does not determine liability but rather is an objective assessment of exactly what happened.
It is important to get a copy of the report and read it carefully. Police officers are human too, and sometimes the details may not be accurate. To get a copy of the report, you can make a request through the New Jersey State Police and New Jersey Turnpike Authority crash report request system.
The online portal allows you to request a report yourself. The police report will have witness statements attached along with details of the crash, scene, and other evidence. The report contains vital information about both drivers and witness contact information.
The report also includes the location, time, and date of the crash, as well as the investigating police officer’s department and case number. In some cases, the officer will include a diagram of the crash that includes the direction of travel, the vehicles involved, and the number of lanes on the road.
Under the diagram, the officer may have written a narrative of the accident. It’s essential to read this section carefully since it can include information not found on the first page.
Not all car accidents are attended by a police officer. This means not all accidents will have an official police report.
It is best to call the police after an accident since not all injuries are apparent at the scene of the accident. If a police report is not filed, New Jersey citizens can fill out an online accident report that is accepted by insurance companies. This can be done through the Department of Transportation and is mandated by law if the losses are estimated to be $500 or more or if any person is killed or injured in the crash.
What to Do to Fix the Report
If you find an error on the report, it’s important to request that the information be changed. One of the most important things you can do is to be respectful of the officer and the department. People make mistakes. Oftentimes, the error may be the result of a misunderstanding while the officer was taking a statement, or it could be a typo.
You can provide the officer with any evidence you may have gathered at the scene to demonstrate where the error occurred so it can be corrected. However, if you are unable to convince the law enforcement officer that the information on the car accident report is incorrect, you may need to take the next step. A New Jersey car accident attorney can help with getting the report changed.
Call Brach Eichler Injury Lawyers for Help After a Car Accident
After a car accident that was not your fault, contact Brach Eichler Injury Lawyers for assistance getting your car accident report corrected, negotiating with the at-fault party’s insurance company, or filing a personal injury lawsuit to recover fair compensation for your injuries.
The New Jersey car accident attorneys of Brach Eichler Injury Lawyers have experience representing clients who were injured in a variety of different car accidents. This includes rollover accidents, rear-end collisions, accidents caused by distracted or drowsy drivers, and drunk driving accidents, among others.
Our experienced attorneys are skilled negotiators and tenacious litigators. Call our offices today at (973) 364-8300 for your free consultation and case evaluation.Written by: Brach Eichler Injury Lawyers Last Updated : March 21, 2023