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How to Get a Police Report for Your Accident

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Road accidents result in a significant number of fatalities and injuries across the United States every year. As more and more vehicles vie to share the road, motor vehicle accidents become increasingly common. The aftermath of an accident can be extremely difficult for the victims and their family members. Several factors may make it hard for them to just pick up the pieces and move on following a serious crash. 

The death or grievous injury of a family’s sole breadwinner can cause extensive financial burden on family members, especially when the victim’s income had previously allowed the entire family to live and thrive. If your family is in a similar situation, you may need a lawyer to help you seek the financial compensation that you rightfully deserve. 

Victims of nearly every type of auto accident can benefit from seeking legal assistance, because every motor vehicle accident is unique and so are the injuries and other losses that an accident victim may incur. An experienced lawyer will know how to build your case and improve your chances of securing compensation to make you whole again. Some of the types of motor vehicle accidents for which a legal professional can provide valuable services include:

  • Car accidents: When another driver causes a car accident in which you are involved, you can then seek compensation for the injuries, property damage, and lost wages that you incurred.
  • Truck accidents: Truck accidents that also involve smaller motor vehicles can be catastrophic for the victims. These types of accidents often involve complex legal issues that a lawyer can help you solve as they fight for your claim.
  • Motorcycle accidents: Motorcycle accidents often lead to severe injuries due to the lack of enclosure that a four-wheeled vehicle generally has to protect its occupants. Motorcyclists have the same rights as other victims to seek compensation for their injuries.
  • Bicycle accidents: Bicycle accidents can occur when larger vehicles fail to see cyclists and collide with them or enter the cyclist’s lane, which can result in devastating injuries. 
  • Pedestrian accidents: Accidents involving pedestrians often occur when motor vehicles crash into people who are walking in crossings or on the sidewalk. The victims in these types of accidents usually face serious injuries or death as a result of the impact. However, a victim’s loved ones have the right to pursue compensation for the victim’s injuries, damages, or wrongful death.
  • Commercial vehicle accidents: Commercial vehicles have the potential to cause major damage because of their size and weight comparable to other vehicles on the road. Many commercial vehicles lack good driver visibility, they carry heavy loads, and they have drivers who are burdened by fatigue after driving long distances. If you have been in an accident with a commercial vehicle, you can make a claim against the company that operates it. 
  • Emergency vehicle accidents: When emergency vehicles operate in a hurry as they drive to reach their destination, they may often disregard traffic rules out of necessity. This can lead to accidents with severe repercussions for the people involved in the accident. As a result, the compensation cases for such accidents get taken to trials.
  • Bus accidents: Bus accidents may involve commercial, government, school, or private buses, and the claims following such crashes can become extremely complex.
  • Boating accidents: While boating accidents may not be traditional motor vehicle accidents, they can result from boat operators that do not know how to maneuver their boat, negligence, alcohol consumption, and inclement weather conditions. 

How to Get a Police Report for Your Accident

If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, you may need the help of an experienced Fort Myers auto accident lawyer to handle your case and related claim for compensation.

Such accidents often occur as a result of vehicle defects, driver error, manufacturing defects, or mechanical failures. Negligence can contribute to a serious crash, and you may need legal assistance from an experienced professional to help pursue your claims.

Apart from the listed accidents, auto accidents can occur in other ways as well, such as distracted driver accidents, hit and run accidents, drunk driver accidents, rear-end collisions, rollover accidents, and taxi cab accidents.

Accessing the report

The victim or their loved ones should get a copy of the police report, also known as a crash report. The people who may collect a copy of the police report of the accident include:

  • Anyone involved in the accident
  • Attorneys who are representing parties to any subsequent case
  • Insurance companies
  • Certain members of the public, subject to the limitations that protect the privacy of the people involved in the accident

Most states will have a straightforward policy for interested parties to obtain a copy of the crash report. In some cases, the victim or another person who was involved with the accident could purchase a copy of the official police report online. 

Know the Process Before Moving Forward

You could also present a request in person to get a copy of the crash report by paying a specified fee. If you require access to pictures or other visuals of the accident scene, you may have to pay extra to obtain them, if they are available. In most cases, police and other law enforcement will only take pictures at the site of an accident if there is an injury or fatality in the crash.

There may be a different fee structure for securing the crash report if the accident occurs on a non-toll road. It may be cheaper, but the copy of the crash report would be uncertified. To get a certified copy, you usually will have to contact a division of the state police with your request, along with a check or money order to cover the associated fees. 

Seeking representation from an experienced Fort Myers personal injury lawyer can be extremely valuable in the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident.