Car accidents are an unfortunate complication of driving. No one wants to be involved in an accident. However, when it does happen, there are some things you should do to protect your rights, especially if another driver is to blame. Whether you plan to negotiate with an insurance company or file a lawsuit for financial compensation, the police accident report is an important document.
If you were involved in an accident in Elizabeth, you can request a copy of your accident report from the Elizabeth Police Department either in person, by mail, or online. To ensure there is an accident report, you should always call the police if you are in an accident. In New Jersey, you are required by law to call the police if someone was injured or there was significant property damage. When the police arrive, you should ask the responding officer for the report number.
Legal Care New Jersey provides professional, experienced, and aggressive legal representation to those injured in car accidents through no fault of their own. The police accident report plays an important role in building a case in your favor. To discuss what steps to take after an accident or how to obtain a police report, call our New Jersey car accident lawyers at (732) 838-9769.
Requesting an Accident Report in Elizabeth, New Jersey
To obtain a police accident report after a car accident in Elizabeth, NJ, you must request a copy from the Elizabeth Police Department. You have three options. A request could be made in person, by mail, or online. No matter which method you choose, you will have to provide specific information regarding the accident.
You will be required to provide your name or the name of the other driver or drivers involved in the accident. Additionally, you will have to provide the date and location of the incident. Finally, you will need to give the police department your permanent address and phone number. To obtain the accident report online, you will also need the report number. You should ask the police officer who responded to the accident for this number.
Requesting the Accident Report By Mail
If you do not want to go to the police department in person, you can request a copy of the accident report by mailing a letter to:
- Elizabeth Police Department
- Records Division
- 1 Police Plaza
- Elizabeth, NJ 07201
You must also include a money order or certified check for $5 made payable to the “Elizabeth Police Department.” Please do not send cash. Also, to ensure the report is delivered to you, include your name and return address.
Requesting the Accident Report in Person
A faster way to obtain a copy of your accident report is to go in person to the Elizabeth Police Department’s Records Division. The Records Division is located at the address listed above and is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. There is no charge for a copy of the report if you request it in person.
Requesting the Accident Report Online
If your accident occurred on December 1, 2020 or later, you have the option of requesting your accident report online. To request the accident report online, you will have to enter your name, the date of the accident, and the report number. While every accident that occurred after December 1, 2020 is available online, it might take a few days to upload your report into the system. There is no charge to receive a copy of the report online.
How an Elizabeth Police Accident Report Helps Your Personal Injury Claim
A police accident report is not admissible evidence in a New Jersey court. However, that does not mean the report is not valuable in building your personal injury claim. Our New Jersey personal injury lawyers will use the information in the report as a foundation in your case. The report represents the initial investigation into the crash and includes the responding officer’s observations and conclusions.
Negotiating With Insurance Companies
While a police report is inadmissible in court, it holds great weight with insurance companies. An insurance adjuster will use the police officer’s observations and conclusion when evaluating the strength of your claim. If citations were issued, such as speeding or driving under the influence, the insurer will know its position is weak. A favorable police report often equates to a favorable settlement. You want our experienced Elizabeth car accident lawyers handling these negotiations, so the important parts of the report are not overlooked.
Points to Other Evidence
Our seasoned New Jersey personal injury lawyers will conduct our investigation of the accident. The police report often serves as a signpost, leading to other evidence. For example, the names of witnesses or other liable parties could be included in the report. Furthermore, should we require the assistance of an accident reconstructionist, the police report will contain vital information such as the time of the accident, the current weather conditions, and a diagram of what occurred.
Responding Officer Testimony
As stated above, the police report itself is not admissible as evidence if your case goes to trial. However, this does not mean the responding police officer cannot be called to testify. A police officer is permitted to testify as to their observations, thoughts, and conclusions. During questioning, the officer will likely rely on the accident report.
Call Our Elizabeth, NJ Car Accident Lawyers to Review Your Case
A police report could be a very important part of the personal injury lawsuit puzzle. If you are in an accident, you want to make sure a report is drafted and you want a copy of that report. Our Elizabeth car accident lawyers could help you with the latter. Call Legal Care at (732) 838-9769 to review your legal options.