After an accident, the police officers who respond to the scene conduct an investigation and put that information into an official car accident report. Victims can use the report and the information in it to submit an insurance claim and file a lawsuit against the negligent party that caused the accident.
To get your accident report copy, you will need to identify where the reporting officer worked. If the officer was a member of the Middletown Police Department, you must go through the Records Bureau at department headquarters. If it was a state trooper, you must use the state’s online portal. You may have to pay a nominal fee, but the amount you stand to recover in the long run will make this initial expense well worth it.
To get more information about your accident report or help in obtaining it, get in touch with the New Jersey car accident attorneys at Legal Care New Jersey through our offices at (732) 838-9769. We can represent you throughout your recovery efforts, starting with a free initial case assessment.
Getting Your Car Accident Report from the Middletown Police Department
If you were involved in an accident on the roads of Middletown, it is likely that the officer who responded to the scene worked for the Middletown Police Department. In these cases, you can obtain an official copy of the report that they file from the department’s Records Bureau.
To do this, you typically must go in person. The Records Bureau is housed within the department, located at 1 Kings Highway Middletown, NJ 07748. The office is open during its normal business hours of 8:30 am through 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday. Because the Records Bureau services a wide range of citizen requests, such as photo I.D. and fingerprint services, it may be a good idea to call ahead to let them know that you are coming in.
There is a small processing fee attached to all crash report requests. To get your report, you will have to pay $0.50 per page of the report. Depending on the severity of the crash, number of parties involved, and the complexity of the situation, accident reports may go as long as 20 pages. But having a car accident report is so vital to your recovery that it will be well worth the fee to obtain it.
What If You Cannot Go to the Police Department in Person?
If you live too far away from the Middletown Police Department headquarters, or if your injuries prevent you from making the trip to the department yourself, the Records Bureau may be able to accommodate a mailed request. You could call the department directly to explain your situation and explore the options that are available.
You also have the option to designate your Newark car accident attorney to obtain your car accident report on your behalf. Police reports for car accidents are a matter of public record under the State of New Jersey’s Open Public Records Act (OPRA). This means that anyone can request a copy of your police accident report.
What If Your Accident Occurred on a Toll Road in Middletown, NJ?
If you got into an accident on a toll road, such as the Garden State Parkway or the New Jersey Turnpike, the officer who arrived on the scene may likely have been a state trooper. New Jersey state troopers are not employed by any specific township or municipality. Therefore, if you went to the Middletown Police Department for your accident report that was compiled by a state trooper, the Records Bureau would not be able to assist you.
In these situations, your best bet is to use the New Jersey state crash report request portal. The fee for obtaining a toll road crash report through the state portal is typically $5.00, with an additional charge of $20.00 if you also request printed copies of photographs taken at the scene. This online database facilitates download requests all across the state. As a result, your crash report may not show up in a portal search sooner than 10 to 14 business days after the date of the accident. If you are unable to locate your official crash report through the online portal after this time has passed, contact your Jersey City car accident attorney for help.
What If the Police Didn’t File an Accident Report for a Crash in Middletown, NJ?
At Legal Care New Jersey, we always recommend that you call 911 when involved in a car accident, no matter how severe. The police officer who arrives at the scene is obligated by law to file a report if the accident results in death, bodily injury, or over $500 of property damage.
However, we also recognize the reality that police officers are not called to the scene of every accident, for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you felt uneasy about reaching out to the police, or the other driver convinced you that you could settle the matter amongst yourselves. Either way, it is still important that you have official documentation of the accident, if for no other reason than insurance purposes.
That is why New Jersey allows you to file an official accident report yourself. This is accomplished through Form SR-1, which goes directly to the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT). You have 10 days from the date of the accident to file the accident report, so if your injuries prevent you from doing so, enlist the help of one of our seasoned Paterson car accident attorneys to help you meet this deadline.