When you are involved in a car crash or collision, things happen fast and it can be difficult to determine exactly what occurred and who was involved. For this reason, it is important to always notify the authorities immediately when an accident happens, as they can make a traffic accident report of the details at the scene as you attend to any injuries suffered by you or your passengers. In the aftermath of even minor car accidents and injuries, these reports can be a valuable tool to ensure you get the compensation you need for the damages you have suffered. The following provides information you may need on when and how to get these reports, as well as how they are often used in support of your claim.
When and How To Get Traffic Accident Reports
According to the Portland Police Bureau, a traffic accident report will be completed by the officer at the scene of the following types of accidents:
- Accidents in which there are actual or potential fatalities;
- Accidents involving serious personal injuries;
- Crashes and collisions involving drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- Incidents involving hazardous materials; and
- Hit and run accidents.
In the aftermath of an accident, it is always helpful to get a copy of the police report in order to get as much information as possible, both about other drivers, witnesses, and the conditions under which the accident occurred. If your insurance company does not obtain a copy of the report on their own, you can provide them with one yourself. You can request a copy by mail from the Portland Police Records Division, which charges a fee of $10.00 for the first five pages, and $2.00 for each additional page. It may take up to 21 days to receive the report through the mail, so the sooner you request it the better. In certain cases, you may receive a Traffic Crash Exchange Report at the scene, which will be the only written report of the accident. Either of these reports will contain a case number, the officer’s name, and a brief description of the scene of the accident and driver’s license and registration information on the drivers involved.
How An Accident Reports Can Help Your Claim
While having a police report is not a requirement for filing an automobile insurance claim, it can help provide pertinent information that will allow your claim to be processed quicker. According to the website autoinsurance.org, promptly requesting and providing your insurer with a copy of your accident report can help to achieve the following:
- An accident report may help to speed up often slow administrative processes and save your insurance adjuster valuable time, which is better spent in calculating damages and losses, and other activities aimed at getting your claim settled.
- A police accident report can be particularly helpful in showing the fault of another driver, as well as in cases involving hit and run accidents, where the insurer is more likely to question your story if a police report has not been filed.
- A police report can support your claims in the event a personal injury lawsuit for damages is filed, and can help your attorney in terms of identifying witnesses at the scene, as well as assisting in reconstructing how the accident occurred.
Let Us Assist You Today
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries as the result of a car accident, contact our experienced Portland car accident attorney today. At the Johnston Law Firm, we can assist you in getting the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled for as the result of your injuries. Get the professional, aggressive legal representation you deserve, and call or contact us online today for a free consultation.