After being involved in a car crash, you should always report the accident to the police.  This is especially true if there was serious vehicle damage or injuries that you will be filing a claim for.  These reports are not necessarily usable as evidence in a trial, but they can still provide important details about the accident that help your lawyers track down additional evidence.

To get a report for your crash in Fort Lee, you can usually put in your request directly with the Fort Lee Police Department.  If the NJ State Police responded to your crash, they might have your report instead – and most accident reports are eventually collected and distributed by the State Police, who make them available online.  If you live in Fort Lee but your accident happened elsewhere, a different department might have your report.

For help with your accident case, call our Fort Lee car accident lawyers today at (732) 838-9769 at Legal Care New Jersey.

How to Get a Crash Report from the Fort Lee Police Department for a Car Crash

Whether you live in Fort Lee or you were just driving through the area on your commute, crash reports are usually filed locally and can be obtained locally as well.  The Fort Lee Police Department partners with to make police reports available online.  Alternatively, you can request the documents in person at the police department’s Records Bureau.  Be aware, however, that they have limited hours and close the Records Bureau at 3:45pm.

You can also mail in a request to the Records Bureau for a police report, but this is a relatively slow process.  Going in person or getting the report online is much faster.  However, our Fort Lee car accident attorneys caution that you should be sure to only use the official crashdocs site that the Fort Lee PD uses and not to take a chance on third party sites.  Other websites might contain only partial reports and might charge you additional fees.

How to Get a Crash Report from the NJ State Police for a Car Crash in Fort Lee

The State Police might have responded to your crash instead of local police officers if the accident happened on a highway.  In this case, the crash report will be written and filed by the NJ State Trooper instead of a local police officer, and it can be found on the State’s website through their crash report portal.

This department should also collect reports from other departments, ultimately making most reports available through this portal.  However, if you live here in Fort Lee but your crash happened elsewhere in the state, you might be able to get the report faster from the local PD that handled the accident.  Additionally, accidents on the AC Expressway are handled through a separate department; you can find their info on the same webpage as the portal linked above.

Do I Need a Police Report for My Car Accident Case in Fort Lee, NJ?

Generally, you do not absolutely need a police report if you will be filing a lawsuit or if you are not filing a claim at all.  However, if you are planning on making a claim with your insurance company or you are going to seek help from a lawyer, getting a copy of your report might be required.

Insurance companies often require a copy of the police report, but they are usually able to obtain it themselves.  They can put in the request with the right department and submit these kinds of requests all the time.  That means they are probably better experienced at making the request and might have a better idea of which department to request the report from.

If you are going to work with a lawyer, having a copy of your report ready for us is incredibly helpful.  This allows us to review the facts of your case and get the ball rolling on our assessment of how strong your case is, what damages you might be able to claim, and which parties are involved.  However, we can also help you get a copy of the report instead if you are having trouble accessing it or do not know where to find it.

How Does a Crash Report/Police Report Help My Car Accident Case in Fort Lee?

The most helpful thing that a police report does is act as an official record of the crash, showing insurance companies and lawyers that it really happened.  With a report on file, we can see that the case was serious enough to warrant reporting and that a police officer took the time to come out, confirm that there was damage, and write up an official report about it.  However, the information contained in the report is not always as helpful as one might expect.

The most helpful parts of the report are going to be the parts where the officer simply recorded contact information and observations they could make at the scene.  For example, if you had to go to the hospital and could not catch the name of the person who hit you, it will be in the police report.  After a crash, you might be distracted and might not be aware that witnesses came forward and told the officer what happened.  The report will not only contain their names and contact info, but also brief statements showing what they saw, and revealing to us what information they might be able to provide if we call them to testify or to take depositions in your case.

One thing that is not usually admissible as evidence is the officer’s explanation of the events of the crash.  The officer usually does not see the crash happen and therefore cannot explain what happened except through secondhand information (i.e., hearsay).  We also cannot typically use the police officer’s determination of who was at fault; that is better left to a jury.

Call Our Fort Lee Car Accident Attorneys for a Free Case Review

If you were hurt in a car accident, contact our Fort Lee car accident lawyers at Legal Care New Jersey today at (732) 838-9769.