If you’ve been involved in a collision in Indiana, you can purchase a copy of your official accident report through the Indiana State Police’s repository or from the local police department that responded to the scene. For example, police reports filed by Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers can be purchased in person at 50 N. Alabama St., E100l, Indianapolis, IN 46204 for $12. You can also obtain a copy of your accident report online at BuyCrash.com.
How Do I Obtain a Copy of My Accident Report Online?
If you wish to purchase a copy of your accident report online, the Indiana State Police has made electronic police reports available through the BuyCrash.com website for a small fee. To get a copy of this report online, you’ll need to provide the following information:
- The date and location of the collision
- The state and law enforcement jurisdiction where the accident occurred
- Your first and last name
- The report number (if given to you by a responding police officer)
How Can My Accident Report Help My Personal Injury Claim or Lawsuit?
The official accident report will often prove to be a vital document if you are planning to file a claim with your own insurance company or if you need to file a personal injury claim against the person who caused the crash.
When police officers respond to the scene of car accidents, they will create and file the report. This report will include information including:
- Descriptions of damage to the vehicles and a diagram of the crash
- Any citations or arrests made at the scene
- A preliminary report detailing how the collision happened, based on the initial investigation
- Verification of insurance for both parties, or confirmation if one or both parties is uninsured
- Description of injuries suffered (if any)
Because the police report is an official document, it can be powerful evidence that could bolster your case for compensation. It will establish the facts of what happened, could indicate who was at fault, and will include relevant information that your attorney and both parties’ insurance companies will use when evaluating the case. It could also prevent the other side from claiming you were at fault.
What If My Accident Report Doesn’t Prove the Other Driver’s Negligence?
What if the accident police report doesn’t clearly state that the other driver was negligent? In some instances, it might be unclear to the responding officer what happened or who was to blame. When this happens, don’t despair. It is still possible to prove that you are owed compensation from the other party, even if the official accident police report doesn’t help with your claim.
After a car accident, it’s always a good idea to gather as much evidence as possible. This includes the names and contact information for any eyewitnesses who saw the crash. An objective account from a third party who saw what happened can be compelling evidence for your injury claim.
You should also take pictures and videos of the vehicles, your injuries, and the accident scene after a crash. Photographic and video evidence could help show what happened, particularly if you can capture the scene from multiple angles, get shots of skid marks on the road, road signage, and the conditions at the time of the accident.
You should also hire an experienced car accident lawyer to represent you as soon as possible after a collision in Indiana. Your lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation into the crash and will work to secure evidence before it is lost, cleaned up, or destroyed. The sooner you hire a lawyer, the stronger your case will likely be, since they will have adequate time to determine what happened before the evidence is gone and eyewitnesses’ memories fade. Additionally, your lawyer may hire experts such as accident reconstruction specialists who can create graphics that show how the crash likely occurred.
Having a police report that clearly assigns blame to the other party is convenient to have but is not always the only way to prove that you deserve compensation after a crash. With an experienced car accident lawyer on your side, you could still recover what you’re owed.
Even if I Am Partially at Fault, Can I Seek Compensation?
Indiana is a “fault” state regarding car accidents injuries and property damage claims. This means that if a motorist is found to be at fault for a crash, the other driver can seek compensation for their injuries and losses, including:
- Medical care expenses
- Vehicle repairs or replacement
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
To award compensation, each party’s level of fault must be determined. A driver will be responsible for paying the other party based on their percentage of fault for the crash. Indiana follows a “comparative negligence” doctrine, also referred to as the “51 percent rule” when it comes to fault after an accident. This means that you are eligible to receive compensation if you are partially responsible for a collision, as long as you are 50 percent or less to blame. If you are found to be 51 percent or more to blame for the accident, you will be barred from recovering compensation.
So, if your total compensation would have been $100,000, but you were found to be 40 percent responsible for the crash, your award would be reduced by 40 percent. Therefore, you would ultimately recover $60,000.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney in Indiana Today
If you were injured in a car accident in Indiana, don’t trust your injury claim to just any law firm. For more than 40 years, the car accident lawyers at Truitt Law Offices have fought for the rights of those injured in collisions in Indiana. If you need assistance getting a copy of your crash report, we can help. We want to hear your story and how the crash has affected your life, so call us or reach out to us online for a free legal consultation today.