Car accidents happen each and every day. If the police are called to a scene of an accident, they will most likely have filed a police report. These records are available to the public and copies may be obtained from the state police. In order to best protect yourself after a collision, it is important to dig up this auto accident record. A crash record will typically state the location of the accident, the individuals involved, the vehicle types, any injuries that were sustained, and a crash diagram. It is extremely important that the crash diagram is accurate, considering this will be used to indicate the driver who is at fault. Fayetteville AR personal injury lawyer Ken Kielklak explains.
Crash records may be obtained through a formal request. A formal request form asks for personal information and a report number. The form is relatively simple; however there is an authorization process designated by the Federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act.
Only certain individuals are entitled to un-redacted copies of an accident report. Individuals authorized to obtain the report include the driver, a parent of a minor child, a legal guardian, and persons with written consent by the driver. If you do not fall under one of these (or the other 13) specific authorized exceptions to receive an un-redacted accident report, then there is still a way in which you may receive an accident report.
A redacted accident report for unauthorized individuals may be obtained by submitting the crash report request packet by mail or in person to the crash records section at the Arkansas state Police headquarters in Little Rock. These records, before being released to an authorized individual, will be review and authorized by a supervisor or designee.
When submitting a request (both for redacted and un-redacted reports), a statutory fee of $10 must be collected for each copy of any single report.
Access to Arkansas State Police Crash Reports
The reason why access to crash reports in Arkansas is limited is because of the Federal Drivers Privacy Protection Act (FDPPA). The FDPPA is interpreted by the Supreme Court as having only narrow exceptions to disclosure of driver information. Because of this Supreme Court interpretation, the Arkansas State Police has determined that the FDPPA restricts:
“Disclosure or re-disclosure of personal identifying information derived from a state office of motor vehicles, including an individual’s name, driver’s license number, social security number, home address, home telephone number, photograph, and medical or disability information, unless one of 14 FDPPA exceptions apply.”
The FDPPA exceptions listed on the crash report request packet are found in 18 U.S.C. § 2721(b).
What are the Other FDPPA Exceptions to Accessing an Accident Report?
As discussed above, authorized users may obtain copies of an accident report. For unauthorized users, only redacted crash reports may be obtained unless they fall under one of the other 13 exceptions.
Those other 13 exceptions are as follows:
2. For use in connection with motor vehicle theft and safety, emissions or alterations, recalls, vehicle performance monitoring, vehicle market research, or removal of non-owner records from the original manufacturer.
3. For use by any government agency.
4. For use by a Federal, State, circuit, or local court.
5. For use by an Arkansas out-of-state law enforcement agency.
6. For use by a representative, agent, contractor, or individual employed by an authorized person for the sole purpose of preventing fraud, pursuing legal remedies, or collecting debt.
7. For use in connection with any civil, criminal, administrative or arbitral proceeding.
8. For use in research activities and producing statistic reports, as long as personal information is not published, re-disclosed, or used to contact individuals.
9. For use by an authorized representative, agent, contractor, or employed in connection with either a claims investigation, anti-fraud activities, or rating an underwriting.
10. For use in providing notice to owners of towed or impounded vehicles.
11. For use by a representative or owner of a licensed private investigative agency or licensed security service.
12. For use as an employer or agent in obtaining or verifying information related to a Commercial Driver’s License.
13. For use by a representative or owner of a private toll transportation facility.
14. For surveys, marketing, or solicitation if the State has obtained express consent of the person to whom such personal information pertains.
If you fall under one of the 14 exceptions, then you are designated an authorized user and may obtain an un-redacted copy of an Arkansas State Police Accident Report.
If you or a loved one has been injured, call a car accident lawyer that you can trust. Contact the Kieklak law firm. We are highly experienced in auto accident cases, and will advocate zealously for you and your loved ones to get the best possible outcome. We litigate aggressively for all of our clients, however big or small your claim is.
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