If you are in a car accident in Fayetteville, there will likely be a police officer at the scene that will write up a report of what occurred. This report will contain valuable information, including the names of people involved and the officer’s assessment of what happened and who was at fault. One of the first things you should do if you are considering a personal lawsuit or are working with an insurance company is obtaining a copy of your accident report.
Requesting a report can usually be done online or in person. There is a fee involved, so you must be prepared to pay any required costs. Below, one of our Fayetteville car accident attorneys takes a closer look at the steps involved and the importance of a police report in a personal injury case.
Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, is an experienced Arkansas car accident attorney who represents injured accident victims and their families. A police report is a valuable tool in maximizing a victim’s potential compensation. To schedule a confidential and free appointment, contact our office at (479) 316-0438.
Requesting Fayetteville Car Accident Report
There are several ways to request a Fayetteville vehicle accident report. To request a hard copy, complete the Accident Report Request Form and mail it to the address provided in the instructions.
To request a digital copy of your report, you need to complete a Digital Accident Report Request.
Accident reports in Fayetteville generated on or after July 1, 2008, are available online. In most cases, a report can be obtained within seven days after the accident. However, in some situations, the report will take longer to complete. This is especially the case in multi-vehicle accidents or crashes that resulted in extensive damages, injuries, or death. Accident reports are also available at the Fayetteville Police Department.
If you are requesting a report online, most major credit and debit cards are accepted. When picking up an accident report at the Fayetteville Police Department, you could pay with a credit or debit card, personal check, money order, or cash. When purchasing a copy of a report with a credit card, debit card, or personal check, you must present a government–issued I.D.
You will have to present some basic information that will allow the Fayetteville police to access your report. This information includes the name of at least one driver involved in the crash, the date of the accident, and the driver’s license number or accident report number. An accident report is an important piece of evidence for our Fayetteville car accident lawyers.
Who Is Permitted to Request a Police Accident Report in Fayetteville?
Under Arkansas law, all accident reports must be made available to the public. Therefore, anyone is permitted to request a copy of a report. However, there are some restrictions on the available information. If a minor was involved in the crash, either a driver, passenger, or pedestrian, the name and address of the individual must be redacted. The only persons allowed to receive an unredacted copy of the report are the parent or legal guardian of the minor or a representative for an insurance company.
Information Included on a Fayetteville Vehicle Accident Report
While accident reports file in Fayetteville will follow a standard format, the level of detail will depend on the officer that is completing the report. Nonetheless, every report should contain some basic information.
The date, time, and location of the accident are listed in the report. In some cases, an officer will include a detailed description of the road conditions or other pertinent facts. The contact information and names of the drivers involved in the accident will also be listed. Most reports also have contact information for witnesses. However, some witnesses might leave before the police arrive, so if you are involved in an accident, you should gather their information.
Details of the accident are also included, such as a narrative of what occurred, a description of the damage the vehicles sustained, and a comprehensive list of injures. The responding officer will also list who they believe was at fault. If any citations were issued, they will also be included in the report. Most reports include diagrams of the accident scene.
Correcting a Fayetteville Accident Report
After obtaining and reviewing an accident report, you notice that there are inaccuracies or incomplete information. Are there steps you can take to correct these errors? Fortunately, it is possible to correct or add an addendum to your report. However, what you are permitted to change depends on the information that you want to correct.
There are two kinds of information on a Fayetteville accident report, facts and disputable information.
An error of fact in a report is a mistake on verifiable information, such as the location of the accident, your name, or a description of the damage that occurred, If you are able to provide proof that supports a correction, for example, a photograph of the accident, the police will likely amend the report.
However, an accident report will also include disputable information, such as statements made by the other driver or witnesses or the police officer’s conclusions regarding the fault. Because of the subjective nature of this information, it will be more difficult or impossible to change. The Fayetteville police department will not change the statement of another driver because you believe it is inaccurate or was wrongly reported. However, it might be possible to have a supplement attached to the report that includes your statement.
Having our experienced Arkansas car accident attorneys are also helpful when dealing with an inaccurate report. If you believe there are errors or erroneous information, our lawyer will review every detail of the report with you and discuss your options. If there are factual errors, our office will walk you through the steps you need to have the mistakes corrected. If you believe that the statements of the other driver, officer, or witnesses were incorrect, our attorney will ensure that your perspective is heard by an insurance adjuster, jury, or judge. In many cases, an accident report is just a preliminary determination of what occurred. Depending on the facts, expert witnesses or an accident reconstructionist might be required to thoroughly investigate the causes of the crash.
Accident Reports and Personal Injury Lawsuits in Fayetteville
While an accident report is not admissible evidence in court, it is still an important document in a Fayetteville personal injury case. In nearly every case, the first thing our Arkansas car accident attorneys will do is request a copy of the police report.
An accident report could provide crucial evidence or details that could be used to strengthen your case or suggest a particular legal strategy. On the other hand, an insurance adjuster will be looking for evidence to deny or fight your claim.
Contact Our Fayetteville Car Accident Attorneys for a Free Consultation
If you plan to pursue a personal injury claim or insurance settlement after a car crash, you should have a copy of your accident report and our experienced Fayetteville car accident lawyers. Contact Ken Keiklak, Attorney at Law, at (479) 316-0438 to review the first steps you should take after being hurt in a car accident.
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