Police reports provide essential information and sources of evidence for car accident lawsuits. A police report offers basic details of the crash, including who was involved and how, when, and where it occurred. Without a police report, you may have trouble convincing an insurance company of your story.
The car accident lawyers at Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., want to share some information on how to file and request a police crash report in Alabama. Keep reading to learn more.
When Do You Have to File an Accident Report?
Alabama law requires you to report any accident resulting in an injury or death to the police. Usually, this is done by calling 911 from the crash scene, but police may not be immediately available to investigate the crash. Alternately, you may not realize you were injured until days after the accident.
In either of these cases, you’ll want to file an accident report as soon as possible. Many insurance companies also require policyholders to report an accident “within a reasonable time.”
How to File an Accident Report in Alabama
You can find a copy of the Alabama accident report form online, fill it out, and then send it to the Alabama Department of Public Safety. Be sure to review the form carefully and fill it out completely. A mistake in the report or failure to include essential information could negatively affect a future personal injury lawsuit.
Why Is an Accident Report Important?
The most important reason to file a police accident report is to make sure there’s a written record of the crash. Insurance companies usually want a police report to verify that the crash happened and that the claim is not fraudulent. A police report may also provide information that could help establish how the collision occurred.
What Important Information Does a Police Report Contain?
Some of the information you’ll find in a police crash report includes:
- The names of the drivers involved in the accident, their addresses, driver’s license numbers, and any injuries they sustained
- The names of any passengers, pedestrians, or cyclists involved in the accident
- Whether or not drugs or alcohol may have contributed to the crash
- Any citations issued to any of the drivers
- The vehicles involved in the crash and what damage they sustained
- The location of the accident and the road conditions at the time
- A basic account of the crash, along with a sketch of the accident and the crash scene
How Long Do You Have to Report a Car Accident in Alabama?
Under Alabama law, you have 30 days from the date of an accident in which to file a police report. You could face criminal charges if you fail to do so.
How To Get a Police Report for a Car Accident in Alabama
You can request a car accident report online for a nominal fee. You can also submit a request through the mail by filling out a crash report request form and mailing it to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.
Contact an Alabama Car Accident Attorney Today
If you were injured in a car accident, contact Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., today for a free initial consultation with an Alabama car accident lawyer.