What Information Is in an Accident Report May Be Important to a Legal Claim
Based on those numbers, one out of every 145 Kentucky residents was injured as the result of a traffic collision on a public road, while one in every 17 drivers licensed in Kentucky was involved in a traffic collision here. Over 127,000 wrecks were reported on public roads plus almost 24,000 more on private property such as parking lots.
Depending on the severity of the accident, it is often wise to call an ambulance in order to have a medical report on file for insurance purposes. In almost all scenarios, the police should also be called to investigate and file a report. State law says that a report must be filed if an accident results in injuries, death or at least $500 damage to vehicles or property. If for any reason a law enforcement officer did not conduct an investigation in such a situation, the operator(s) of the car(s) involved must file a Civilian Collision report within 10 days. You should also file a Civilian Collision report if the police are not called to a non-injury accident, because you may need the report to convince the claims adjuster that it was their insured who caused the accident.
Information Police Put in an Accident Report: A List
In the event of a lawsuit, the information contained in a police report can be helpful to your attorney in determining what the investigating officers think happened to cause the accident. Some accident reports go into greater detail than others, but most contain:
- Name, address and telephone number of all people involved (including passengers and witnesses)
- Driver’s license number and birth date of all drivers involved
- Make, model, year, registration number and license plate number of the vehicles involved
- Contact information for each driver’s insurance company
- Vehicle damage and estimated repair costs
- Any property damage not part of the vehicle
- Date, time and location of the accident
- Weather and road conditions at the time of the accident
- Traffic control devices at the scene of the accident (stop signs, traffic lights, etc.)
- A diagram of the accident and written description
- Whether any tickets or fines were issued and if so, for what reason.
Accident reports are filed by the law enforcement agency that responds to the wreck – and the responding agency is determined by whether the road is public or private, state or county. The investigating officer files the accident report with the Kentucky State Police (KSP) and, after a few weeks, the report is available on-line or via U.S. Mail. Reports are only available to the people involved in the accident, the parent or guardian of a minor who is party to the accident, insurers of any party who is the subject of the report, or attorneys representing someone who was involved in the car accident. These parties can obtain reports by sending a written request to the KSP post responsible for the area where the accident occurred. Requests should include a self-addressed stamped envelope and a check or money order payable to the Kentucky State Treasurer. As of 2015, the fee is $5.00. For post mailing information, click here. There is also a company that has a website to handle requests for car accident reports: buycrash.com. Their 2015 fee for a standard report is $10.00, which can be paid by credit card or PayPal.
However, they are not binding, so if you disagree with a report’s information, an experienced KY wreck attorney can challenge the conclusions made as well as correct any factual errors. Because the police report can be used to determine whether or not someone will be subject to criminal or civil liability, it can impact the amount of a settlement or judgment.
What Is in an Accident Report Could Be Central to Your Legal Claim
Unfortunately, not all vehicle wrecks can be resolved peacefully and you may find you need legal representation. Accident reports are a key piece in any accident litigation and obtaining them can be frustrating. The KY accident report lawyers at the Johnson Law Firm diligently pursue these reports and carefully examine them to ensure our clients’ interests are protected. We take on the insurance companies so that you don’t have to, making every effort to maximize your compensation along the way. Get started today with a free, no-obligation case review by calling 606-433-0682 or filling out this online form to discuss your rights.