After you’ve been in a car accident in Indiana, the trauma from your experience may leave you reeling. In the aftermath of the accident, you may feel foggy about the events that led to your collision. A police report can give you documented details about your accident.
A copy of your police report is vital to dispute any variations of the accident suggested by an insurance company or the driver of another vehicle involved in your collision. You can use the police report to gather evidence, provide documented facts, and find any eyewitnesses to the accident.
What happens if you lose your copy of the police report? Will you have to pay an exorbitant amount of money or bushwhack your way through a ton of red tape to receive another copy? Do you need your police report to file a legal compensatory claim?
We’ll cover all you need to know about how to obtain a police report in Indiana.
When Police Reports are Required
In 2020, there were 175,816 reported accidents in Indiana. Of these, 896 resulted in fatalities. There were 38,913 accidents that caused injury.
Indiana state code requires that a police officer who attends the scene of an accident must fill out a written report and conduct an investigation of the collision if the accident:
- involved more than one vehicle
- resulted in injury or death
- incurred at least $1,000 in property damage
These reports not only prove vital to accident victims and law enforcement, they also help the Indiana government compile their yearly Crash Fact statistic reports. Police reports help in budgetary decisions and allow legislators to discern when driving laws should be updated.
After an accident, police officers on the scene should write up a detailed report and file it with the Indiana State Police. You should be able to request a copy of the report within 7 to 10 business days.
What Information You Can Find on a Police Report
In Indiana, a police report is filed after an accident if the collision meets the requirements listed above. This report must be made on the form issued by the state police and must be handwritten by an attending officer.
A police report after your accident will contain the following information:
- The date, day of the week, and time of the accident
- Detailed account of the accident from any involved parties and eyewitnesses
- Make, model, and VIN (vehicle identification number) of all involved vehicles
- Results of the investigation of responding police officers
- Designation of where the accident occurred (public or private property, physical address, township, county, etc.)
- The results of any breathalyzer or sobriety field tests issued
- Name, address, telephone number, and driver’s license ID number of any drivers of vehicles involved in the accident
- Cause of the crash, if law enforcement can determine a cause
- Any documented injury or fatality that occurred as a result of the collision
- Badge numbers, names, and agency name (sheriff’s department, local police department, state police, etc.) of responding officers
When you obtain a copy of your police report, you can also check with the Indiana Crash Manual to ensure responding officers have filled out the form in its entirety. The original copy of the report should have been forwarded to the Indiana State Police, and should be available to you upon request.
Why a Copy of Your Police Report is Vital
After an accident in Indiana, you may choose to pursue a personal injury compensatory claim against other involved drivers or their insurance companies. The documentation of your accident began with your police report; any lawyer you retain will need a copy of this report to ascertain whether or not a legal claim is worth pursuing.
The police report can also fill in any accident details that might be foggy to you due to shock from the trauma you’ve endured.
How to Obtain a Copy of Your Police Report in Indiana
If you lose your copy of the police report, it should not be a big deal. The good news is that it’s relatively easy to get another copy of your police report in Indiana. Most local police departments will give you a copy of the report upon request.
Keep in mind that you must visit local police headquarters to make your request, and you may have to fill out a request form. You’ll have to provide the details of your accident, including the case number, name of the investigating officer, and date, location, and time of the collision, so make separate notes of these for yourself.
The Indiana State Police collect copies of every police report in Indiana as well. These copies are available for purchase via BuyCrash.com. If your accident was in Indianapolis, you can also mail in a request for a police report or visit or call the Indiana Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD). The contact information for the IMPD is:
50 N. Alabama Street, E100
Indianapolis, IN 46204
You’ll have to wait for ten days before making your request to any police department, and will be charged a small fee – $12.00 for an online report and $5.00 for a paper copy.
How Your Police Report Can Help Your Lawyer
If you’ve suffered injury as a result of your accident or feel you want to explore any right you may have to a compensatory settlement and are having a tough time dealing with the insurance company on your own, you may want to contact a lawyer.
If you decide to retain an attorney to help you pursue justice, your police report is vital to your case. The report will help a lawyer understand the cause of your accident as determined by law enforcement officials, detail evidence gathered at the scene of the accident, and prove whether or not you suffered any initial injuries or property damage. As your lawyer strengthens your case, they will begin gathering evidence based on the police report.
At Yosha Law, we are passionate about our clients, and consider them part of our family. We will help with your personal injury claim and fight for what you’re owed.