When you’re involved in an accident, getting a police report can be crucial. Police reports, along with video footage, photos, eyewitness testimony and other evidence, may corroborate your version of events, and prove that the other driver was acting in a negligent or reckless manner.
In Ohio, police aren’t always required to come out to the scene of a collision. They must appear when there’s a fatality, an injury which requires medical care or more than $1,000 in property damage. Some cities, including Cincinnati and Columbus, have their own self-reporting rules.
When you’ve been in a crash, a police report may not be necessary under Ohio law. However, if you’re in a city which requires a report, your insurance company requires it or the other driver is uninsured, you will need to file your own.
How to get a police report
If the police filed their own accident report, it’s likely to be a serious crash. Collisions with serious injuries, fatalities and significant property damage often require the assistance of a skilled personal injury lawyer. The Law Offices of Tim Misny will gladly help you track down your police report.
However, if you’re gathering documents for an initial consultation, you can search for an unofficial report with the Department of Public Safety. Reports can take up to six weeks to appear in the system.
You may also contact the law enforcement agency who appeared at the scene. This may include the Ohio Highway Patrol, county sheriffs’ departments and city police departments.
How to file an accident report yourself
When the police decline to appear, you can file an accident report yourself. Call your local police station to find out the procedure. Even if you think you or your vehicle were not seriously harmed, the extent of your injuries and property damage may not be clear until later.
You should always file a report if your insurance company requires them, and when the other driver is uninsured. As a general rule, however, we recommend that you always take the time to file an accident report. While the extra documentation may not always be necessary, it’s better to be overprepared than caught unaware.
The Law Offices of Tim Misny can help you navigate your accident claim. We’ll help you track down documentation and other evidence, and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Discuss your case with an Ohio car accident attorney today
When you’re injured by a negligent or reckless driver, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at (800) 556-4769 so that I can evaluate your case right away. We’ll work to hold the right parties responsible for the appropriate damages.