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  • Writer's pictureTom Fowler

How Long Does It Take to Get a Police Report After an Accident? Have Anxiety No More!

No one is ever ready to be in a car accident. It's an unexpected phenomenon that is incredibly convenient, and even sometimes fatal for the drivers involved. Some car accident victims never return to having a normal life, which is why personal injury attorneys are so important in ensuring they get the compensation they deserve.

Police officers play a big role in this process. The relevant police department (based on the location in which the accident occurred) will typically dispatch an officer upon being called about an accident.

The responding officer will typically investigate things and take a statement from the parties involved in the automobile accident.

This will lead to a police report being compiled, which is essential in a successful claim. Waiting on it can be nerve-racking. Here's some useful information to help with understanding how long it takes to get a police report.

What Kind of Information Is Typically In The Accident Report?

What Kind of Information Is Typically In The Accident Report?

While different police departments have different standards, the details of the crash report tend to be similar. The idea is to give an impartial account of events. Expect to see the following information:

  • The driver's license number for each driver involved

  • Statements made by the drivers involved

  • Insurance company information for all drivers involved

  • An assessment of the road conditions

  • Any notable physical observations

  • Citations issued and who may have received them

  • Location of the accident

  • Vehicle information

After a car accident, both the victim's attorney and the offender's attorney will try to incorporate the police report into their respective strategies.

The Police Officer Portion

One of the misconceptions that people have after being in an accident is that the officer who took the statements is the sole party to handle the drafting of the final document.

While there is no single defined process, police reports tend to pass through different phases before it's made available.

Note, however, that whichever officer was responsible for the initial phase likely completed the report three to five business days after the car accident happened.

Whatever process the police department has typically determines what comes after, though some may even have procedures at the first stage that cause different timelines.

The Available Details of the Car Accident

It's very common for people in a car accident to believe that they can trust others, and it often leads to undesirable circumstances.

The police officer provides an impartial element that's necessary for these kinds of scenarios. Apart from not doing what they say or acting unethically, people involved in accidents often see a single perspective and it's the one that makes them right.

In fact, drivers with some existing vehicle damage may try to get another party's insurance provider to cover it by passing it off as a part of the accident.

Personal injury matters get messy. It's the balance provided by law enforcement that makes the police report so important. Furthermore, certain types of claims such as those associated with death-based claims, cannot go forward without a police report.

Policies of the Law Enforcement Agency

As indicated before, the way things are handled by the authorities has a heavy influence on when the police report is received.

However, what people don't realize is that they can find out how it works, along with the expected timelines. Locate and reach out to the appropriate law enforcement agency to find out what the procedures and associated expectations are.

Why Should You Get a Police Report When an Accident Occurs?

A car accident is typically synonymous with injuries, some of which can be incredibly severe. The police report acts as definitive proof that there were injuries and damages that directly resulted from the crash.

While it's nice to get medical bills paid after being injured, getting compensated for the said payments gets hard if proving that the injuries even happened poses a challenge.

A combination of documentation from a medical professional and the police report would make this process much easier for your Des Moines auto accident lawyer.

Is an Accident Report and a Police Report The Same Thing?

This is a common misconception since people hear the word "report" and they both have to do with car accidents.

The police report is the one that has been covered until now. Law enforcement prepares it on the scene or afterward, depending on the situation.

An accident report is typically a state requirement and is filed by drivers. It's usually advisable to find out what Department of Transportation (DOT) or Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) requirements are in the applicable state.

Is a Police Report Always Necessary?

Not necessarily. States will usually have conditions under which the police must be contacted. In Iowa, for example, in the absence of injury, death, and property damage over $1,500, no contact is required.

As far as cases go, some claims can technically take place without a police report, but it's always a good idea to ensure one is done for the best possible outcome, especially if you were in an accident with a leased car.

Think about The Insurance Company Side of Things

This feeds into what was said earlier. When an insurance claim is submitted, a police report is often required. If the circumstances of the accident meet a certain threshold, it becomes mandatory.

Requesting Police Reports in Iowa

Requesting Police Reports in Iowa

Bear in mind that you can request a preliminary report for your case, which is usually sufficient if the full police report is not ready.

The request process starts with the identification of the appropriate law enforcement agency. Next, reach out to understand the process and the methods of delivery.

Note the information required on the request form and fill it out as accurately as possible before submitting it. Ensure that you keep it handy and safe. You may also want to make a note of your report number.

Allow an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney to Help You Secure Your Police Accident Report and More!

Getting a police report after an accident can often feel like a chore. Even when the process is understood, the waiting process is almost unbearable.

An expert attorney can help you secure it from law enforcement, so the claim will not be hindered from that end.

Schedule a free consultation today with a top-rated Iowa lawyer from Tom Fowler Law by calling (515) 203-8434!


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