When a car accident is serious, the State of New Jersey will require that it be thoroughly documented through an official police report. If an officer is called to the scene, they will investigate the accident and compile information that will be filed as part of public record.
To determine how best to obtain the police report for your car accident, you will need to identify what you need from it and whether it occurred on a toll road, such as the Garden State Parkway. For non-toll roads, you may obtain your report in person or by mail, in addition to the online portal. Once you get your report, go over it for mistakes with your attorney so that you can amend them before they hurt your chances of recovery.
If you have any questions about the process, we highly recommend that you contact Legal Care New Jersey. We can set you up with one of our experienced Newark car accident attorneys who can walk you through your potential lawsuit for your injuries step by step. To hear more about our services for free, call us today at (732) 838-9769.
Process of Obtaining a Police Report for a Car Accident on a Non-Toll Road in Newark, NJ
Police reports on car accidents in New Jersey are a matter of public record. Therefore, they are made accessible to everyone who goes through the proper process. There are three different ways that you can request a copy of your accident report: in-person at the police department, by mail, or online.
You may choose to go directly to the police department during their normal operating business hours to make your request. By going in person, you typically avoid the administrative costs usually required for mail or online options. You will need to go to the specific department of the officer who compiled the police report. You may find it helpful to call the department ahead of your visit to give them a heads up that you are coming.
You will likely need to complete a request form to complete the mail request process. The form will require certain identifying information about the accident and the parties involved. The form should be mailed, along with a check or money order for the associated fee, to the address of the police department.
You can also obtain a downloadable copy of your report through the state crash report portal. The report may not be available immediately on the portal. Once you request your report, you should expect the process to take about a week. However, if your request concerns specific details of the crash, the process can extend for months. Downloadable requests are not certified. Speak to your New Jersey car accident attorney if you need a certified copy of your accident report.
How Do You Get a Crash Report for an Accident on a Toll Road?
If your accident occurred on a toll road, such as the Garden State Parkway or the New Jersey Turnpike, you will have to obtain your crash report online. This is because toll roads are policed by the state, rather than any specific municipal police department. All you will need to obtain your toll road crash report is the date of the accident and the names of any of the parties involved.
If your toll road car accident involved a government vehicle or resulted in a fatality, you will need to contact the New Jersey Turnpike Authority directly. Your Newark car accident attorney can help you through this more complicated process.
What Information Is in a Police Report?
By law, any car accident in New Jersey that results in death, injury, or more than $500 worth of property damage must be reported to the New Jersey Department of Transportation within 10 days. If there is no police officer on the scene, you can compile the report and submit it yourself.
However, we always suggest that you call 911 and have the dispatcher send an officer to the scene to compile the report for you. This allows you to get immediate care for your injuries and leaves the leg work to the professionals. You do not need to submit a report on top of the official police report.
Police crash reports contain the vital information that you and your Newark car accident attorney will rely on to file a lawsuit or insurance claim, including the following:
- Names and contact information for all drivers
- Names and contact information for all witnesses, passengers, and victims
- Location of the accident
- Description of the accident and perceived property damage and injury
- Potential traffic violations at the time of the accident
- Road and weather conditions at the scene of the accident
- Statements from drivers and witnesses
- Insurance information
What if there Are Mistakes in the Police Report for Your Newark Car Accident?
Most of the time, police reports for car accidents are accurate. However, police officers are human and prone to mistakes in language or memory. Therefore, errors can show up on police reports, particularly from departments that service high-population areas and are responsible for a large amount of reports.
The first step you should take when you get your police report is to go over it with your attorney for any inconsistencies or flaws. You have the ability to request that changes be made to the official police report by submitting supplemental evidence that explains how the report is flawed. You are substantially more likely to succeed in this endeavor if you act sooner rather than later, so contact your New Jersey personal injury attorney as soon as possible to correct these costly errors.
Get Your Police Report with the Help of a Newark Car Accident Attorney
No matter where you are in the process of evaluating your legal options for recovery from car accident injuries, you can benefit from the counsel of our Newark car accident lawyers. Call (732) 838-9769 to talk to Legal Care New Jersey about scheduling your free initial case review.