If you find yourself in a New Jersey car accident, you are usually required by law to have a police report filed. The only situations in which this is not the case is when there were no injuries, deaths, or property damage beyond $500. These reports will be generated by an investigating office and are vital pieces of evidence that are used in accident injury claims sent to auto insurance companies. How to get a police report filed, the contents of a police report, and other important details are laid out below.
Reporting the Incident and Obtaining a New Jersey Police Report
As mentioned, you are required to report car accidents in New Jersey by an efficient and quick means of communication as soon as possible. Once an investigating officer examines the scene and writes down its details, it is then digitally created and stored at the local police office. From there, you will need to obtain it in order to use it in a court case.
There are three ways to obtain your car accident police report:
- Call the traffic division of the low law enforcement agency and pay an administrative fee of usually $15. They will then send you the report. You can only do this if you keep the identification number receipt given to you by the cop at the scene.
- If you don’t have the number, you can usually go to the local police department and provide important information like the date, time, and location of your car accident as well as other important information such as your name and license plate number.
- You can also attempt to ask for a free copy of the police report from the representative of your accident claim. This obviously can only occur if they have already paid and made efforts to obtain one themselves.
Understand the Details of a New Jersey Police Report
There are many important details in a car accident police report. These all can be used in court to help support your claim. Even police officers are human and can make mistakes. It is imperative that you look over your police report copy thoroughly and make sure all the important information was provided.
Important information that should be on your police report includes:
- Estimate date, time, and location of the collision
- Important identification information of yourself, the other accident party, and any witnesses. This includes names, addresses, contact information, and insurance information
- Location of the damage on the vehicles in the accident
- Diagram of the accident
- Weather, roadway, and lighting conditions at the accident scene
- Citations and/or law violations
- Statements from all parties and witnesses
- Opinions as to collision cause and on who was at fault
Facts and Opinions and Police Reports Admissibility in Court Decisions
In the court of law, facts must always be discerned from opinions. The police officer’s opinion on who was at fault has bias and is not used as an absolute fact by a judge. Dates, times, photographs, etc., are considered facts. Opinions will be taken into account, but irrefutable, factual evidence will always take a priority. It is important to understand that parts of your police reports can be admissible (disregarded) by a judge. A police report is not a golden ticket out of fault or a guarantee to definite compensation. Keep this in mind when dealing with your car accident claim.
Contact a Wayne Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Accident Injury Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a motor vehicle accident in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at The Law Office of Silverman & Roedel represent clients injured because of car accidents in Little Falls, Clifton, Ringwood, Hawthorne, and throughout New Jersey. Call (973) 772-6411 or email us to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 1187 Main Ave #2C, Clifton, NJ 07011.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.