Police reports are a vital tool used to determine liability in the event of an accident. Insurance company claims personnel rely heavily on the information contained in these reports, as do the courts and arbitration mediators when determining fault or the percentage of fault the negligent party will bear. In the past, police reports had to be requested via a letter or a trip to the police station. Access is now available online for many counties across the United States.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Accident information
- Computer with internet access
Gather information that is pertinent to the accident. For most sites this will include driver's name, location, date, police report number or a combination of this information.
Access the internet and go to www.policereports.us. Here you will see a map of the United States.
Choose your state; not all states are functional on this website. If you cannot access your state via this website, try searching for your particular police department online, or call your police department to request information.
Choose your police department from the list provided. Each police department can have different steps to follow. For example, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, asks for a minimum of one piece of information, but Simponsonville, South Carolina, requires entry of the report number, date and last name.
Enter the required information into the box provided and if a police report was completed, you will have the option of viewing a scanned copy as a pdf or tff file. You can print or save this document to your computer. If you cannot locate your report, contact your police department and request a copy. There might be a minimal charge-usually less than £2-to get a copy.
Tips and warnings
- Many of the same departments that offer online police report searches also offer online police report filing. This system has been developed to allow officials more freedom to respond to calls of a higher urgency.
- Accidents reports contain private information and should be properly maintained in a secure file, limiting their exposure only to the parties that were involved in the accident.
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