Car accidents are always dangerous, but accidents on the NJ turnpike are especially frightening. If you file an insurance claim or take legal action after the crash, an attorney can help you obtain an accident report.
Requesting the report is often easy and may be done online or by mail. Reports for accidents on the NJ Turnpike might have a separate online portal where we can submit a request. The report should contain valuable information we can use in an insurance claim and a lawsuit. Details about where and how the crash occurred, witnesses’ names, and other important details might be in the report. While the report contains a plethora of valuable information, it likely cannot be used as evidence in a lawsuit as it is probably considered hearsay. Instead, we can use the report as a guide to find admissible evidence.
Call Legal Care New Jersey at (732) 838-9769 to plan a free, private review of your case with our New Jersey car accident attorneys.
Requesting Accident Reports for Collisions on the NJ Turnpike
The NJ Turnpike is not really a singular major highway. Instead, it is a complex network of controlled-access highways spanning over 100 miles. Since this roadway is so massive, accident reports for collisions on the NJ Turnpike are often maintained separately from other accident reports. As such, you might have to go through special channels to get a copy of your accident report from the NJ Turnpike.
In today’s increasingly modernized world, people can obtain accident reports online. While ordinary accident reports can be obtained through online portals maintained by relevant law enforcement agencies (e.g., state and local law enforcement), accidents on the NJ Turnpike are handled differently. You must go to an online portal maintained by the NJ Turnpike Authority (NJTA).
Accident reports for fatal and non-fatal accidents are often maintained separately. The NJTA portal for obtaining accident reports is only good for non-serious/non-fatal accidents. If you were involved in a crash with severe injuries or a fatality, our Newark, NJ car accident lawyers can help you submit a special request for this report.
Keep in mind that requesting a report usually involves paying a small fee. Fees tend to vary based on whether the crash was serious or involved fatalities and where the accident occurred. Accident reports for collisions on toll roads are $5. Meanwhile, reports for accidents on non-toll roads are $13. A report for a serious or fatal accident will cost you $20. You should wait at least 24 hours after an accident before submitting a request. Once submitted, a request might take several days to a couple of weeks to process.
Information Contain in Your NJ Turnpike Accident Report
A myriad of details should be in the accident report from your NJ Turnpike crash. The exact information in your report depends on how the accident happened and whether any serious injuries or fatalities were involved. More severe accidents tend to be investigated more thoroughly, and accident reports for serious crashes tend to be longer and contain more details.
Among the many details of your report should be information about the parties involved. This usually means your information and the other driver’s information are in the report. Details about witnesses might also be in the report. This is incredibly important when we need to assemble witnesses for your lawsuit.
The report might also contain valuable details about how the accident happened. Details might include the direction of travel of the vehicles, speed, and even conclusions drawn by the police who investigated. For example, the police might conclude in the report that the other driver T-bones you in an intersection. While this is helpful to your case, it might not be admissible evidence in court, as reports are largely considered hearsay. Even so, accident reports may be used as a stepping stone to admissible evidence.
Why We Need an Accident Report for NJ Turnpike Collisions
Accident reports are needed for several important reasons. The first reason is that insurance companies almost always want to see a police report to know your claim is genuine and not fraudulent. The second reason is that the accident report might contain valuable information that we can use to find evidence to support your claims in a lawsuit.
Insurance companies often require claimants to submit a copy of the accident report to process their claim. This is standard procedure for claims involving auto accidents on the NJ Turnpike. The information in the accident report might be invaluable to your insurance claim.
Contrary to an insurance claim, the accident report is usually not admissible evidence in a lawsuit. This means that, although the accident report is full of valuable information, the report itself cannot be presented to jurors as evidence as it is considered hearsay. However, we can use the report to find admissible evidence. For example, the report might contain statements from witnesses about the crash. While those statements in the report are inadmissible, we can find the witnesses and get them to testify in court.
Can I Use a NJ Turnpike Accident Report as Evidence in a Lawsuit?
Although accident reports are full of valuable evidence, they surprisingly cannot be used as evidence in court, at least most of the time. Accident reports are considered hearsay evidence and are inadmissible in court, barring special circumstances. Hearsay evidence is often based on reports or second-hand information and cannot be substantiated in court. For example, the witness statements in a police report are hearsay because we do not have the witnesses who made those statements presenting that information.
Instead, we can sue police reports to find admissible evidence. Continuing with the example of the witness statements, if we can find those witnesses and bring them into court, their testimony would not be considered hearsay.
It might be possible to get NJ Turnpike accident reports admitted into court under special exceptions to the rule against hearsay. There is an exception for public records, and police reports are generally considered public records. Talk to your lawyer about what evidence is best in your case.
Call Our New Jersey Car Accident Attorneys for Help Obtaining Your Accident Report
Call Legal Care New Jersey at (732) 838-9769 to plan a free, confidential assessment of your claims with our Jersey City car accident attorneys.