How to Get a Police Report for a Car Accident in Fort Smith, AR
Police reports regularly contain information that points to accidents’ causes. Therefore, they are often evaluated after car crashes by insurance companies and lawyers in order to determine who is at fault.
There are three ways to acquire a copy of your police report for your car accident in Fort Smith, AR. You may request your report online, by mail, or in-person at a police station. Our lawyers can help obtain a copy of your report and analyze its contents.
If you were injured because of a motor vehicle collision in Fort Smith, AR, get help from our experienced Fort Smith car accident attorneys by calling (479) 316-0438.
How to Obtain a Copy of Your Police Report After an Accident in Fort Smith, AR
If you need to obtain a copy of your police report after a car accident in Fort Smith, there are three ways to do so. First, you may obtain a copy of your police report online. In order to acquire a copy of your report online, you must pay a $10 service fee. Usually, your report will be ready to view within 10 days of your accident.
Second, you may also get a copy of your police report by making a request through the mail. This process will involve printing and filling out a crash report request form. If you require assistance when filling out your form, you can reach out to our car accident lawyers.
Lastly, you can retrieve a copy of your accident report by requesting one in-person at an officer of the Arkansas State Police Department. Similar to the process for requesting your report online, obtaining a report in-person will require that you complete a crash report request form.
Do You Need to File a Report After Your Car Accident in Fort Smith, AR?
Under Arkansas law, after any car crash that causes injury, death, or significant property damage, drivers must file accident reports with the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA). This report can be accessed online and should be filed within 30 days of your accident. Support and guidance from our experienced Harris car accident lawyers can be very helpful when filling out and submitting your report. Our attorneys can help prevent you from making statements that may be used against you during a car accident lawsuit.
What Information Can You Find in Your Police Report for a Car Accident in Fort Smith, AR?
Police reports can provide a great deal of information that suggests who is to blame for a car accident. For instance, any of the following may be included in such reports:
- The time and location of your crash
- Contact information for other parties involved in your crash
- Other drivers’ insurance information
- A description of road and weather conditions at the time of your accident
- A description of the property damage caused by your crash
- Statements made by other drivers in the aftermath of your crash
- Statements from eyewitnesses describing how or why your accident occurred
- A drawn diagram of your accident
- The drafting officer’s personal notes regarding the cause of your collision
Analyzing the totality of information provided by your police report can be complicated process. Fortunately, our car accident lawyers can help review your report and explain the impact it may have on your case.
Can Police Reports Be Used as Evidence in Fort Smith, AR Car Accident Cases?
Police reports cannot be used as evidence in Fort Smith car accident cases. That is because the information included in police reports is generally considered to be inadmissible hearsay. Still, there are other ways that our car accident attorneys can utilize police reports in your case.
For instance, police reports can be helpful when initially gathering evidence and determining who is at fault. Police reports are often among the first pieces of information analyzed by our attorneys during car accident cases because they can point us to other sources of evidence that will be admitted in court. Accordingly, these reports are still very useful when building plaintiffs’ cases.
Furthermore, information from police reports can be used to challenge testimony that is presented during a trial. For example, if a witness to your crash makes a statement on the stand that does not align with the statement they made in your police report, then your report may be used to impeach that witness and block their testimony.
Lastly, information from police reports may also be utilized to refresh witnesses’ recollections. Testifying in court can be a traumatic experience. Thankfully, if a witness cannot remember specific details pertaining to an accident, they can be shown a police report to hopefully jog their memory. Our Arkansas car accident lawyers can help use a police report to effectively refresh a witness’s recollection in your case.
Can You Change Incorrect Information in Your Police Report in Fort Smith, AR?
If there is incorrect information found in your police report, you may be able to have it corrected. There are certain steps you should follow in order to alter information in your report. First, you should record a personal recollection of your accident while your memory is fresh. This will allow you to efficiently address any errors that you may uncover later on.
Next, you should obtain a copy of your report and analyze it closely. Our experienced Springdale car accident lawyers can provide support when recovering and reviewing a copy of your police report.
After locating incorrect information in your report, you should reach out to the drafting officer to ask if they will make a correction. Unfortunately, some officers will be reluctant to alter information from their reports. In such cases, victims can submit their own statements addressing the incorrect information and request that these statements are attached to their reports. Our legal team can help when drafting and submitting your correction.
Car Accident Victims in Fort Smith, AR Can Reach Out to Our Attorneys for Support
If you were hurt as the result of a car crash, seek guidance from our experienced Rogers car accident lawyers by calling (479) 316-0438.
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