Car accidents can be frightening and confusing. It is normal to be shaken up and unable to think clearly in the moments after an accident, particularly if you suffered injuries. In many cases, victims of a car accident are actually in a state of shock. However, calling law enforcement to the scene of the accident and getting a police accident report in Tennessee, particularly if you suffered injuries and extensive car damage, should be one of the first actions after a crash.
According to Tennessee Code §55-10-106, drivers involved in an accident must report a car crash that resulted in a fatality, injuries, or property damage over $50. A police accident report will be crucial for recovering compensation after a crash that was someone else's fault as it contains information regarding the accident and an opinion as to who is at fault for the crash. Since a police report provides a relatively objective record of what happened at your accident, it can prove your version of events and help you with recovering damages.
Contact Labrum Law Firm if you are struggling to recover your due after a car crash. Our dedicated and experienced car accident attorneys can fight for you. Call us now for a free case review: (615) 338-9500.
Why Do I Need a Car Accident Report?
If you had a minor fender bender and can get compensation from your own car insurance or the at-fault party's insurer, you may not need a police crash report. However, a police accident report is typically the first thing an insurance company will ask for before compensating drivers for any damages.
Having a police report at your disposal can be useful even in a minor accident. However, obtaining the report will be absolutely crucial if you experienced a serious car crash with injuries and extensive car damage. A police report can also be admitted as evidence in court.
Having a police report can:
- Speed up the insurance claims process
- Help you file a claim with your insurance or the at-fault driver's insurance
- Provide you with evidence against the negligent driver in a lawsuit
- Help determine who is at fault in a complex accident
- Protect you from any potential liability issues
- Confirm your version of events
- Provide vital information for accident reconstruction experts
Information Contained in a Tennessee Accident Report
The investigating officer typically spends a considerable amount of time at an accident scene. The investigating officer will collect as much information as possible for their police report. Depending on the accident, they may:
- Question the drivers
- Issue citations
- Take statements from eyewitnesses
- Inspect the vehicles involved in the accident
- Measure distances and taking notes
- Take photographs and videos of the accident scene and vehicles
Gathering all this information will help the investigating officer with drafting the accident report. The final report typically includes some or all of the following data:
- Date and time of the accident
- Location of the accident
- ID and contact information of all parties involved
- ID and contact information of witnesses
- Damage to the vehicles
- Details of fatalities and injuries
- Weather and road conditions at the time of the crash
- Drivers and witness statements
- Violations of traffic law and citations
- An opinion as to the reason for the crash and fault of drivers
Where Can I Get My Accident Report?
Before you can obtain an accident report in Tennessee, you need to know which agency investigated your crash. You may have several options for recovering your accident report, depending on whether the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP), a local sheriff's office, or another agency dealt with your accident.
A Local Police Department
If a local police department investigated your crash, you could request an accident report from them directly. In this case, you should contact the local office of the relevant police department and ask for a copy. The department will let you know whether they require any additional information and what the fees are for obtaining an accident report. They will also inform you whether you can get the report mailed to your address or need to pick it up in person.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP)
If your accident was investigated by the THP, you can get a report from the agency directly. According to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, accident reports can be retrieved by:
- The driver
- The vehicle owner
- A passenger
- A legal representative
In order to obtain your accident report from the THP, you will need to provide information regarding the date, location, and drivers involved. Accident reports are typically available a week after the date of the accident at the THP district office. At the time of writing, the fee for an accident report is $4.00.
The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security
You also have the option of obtaining an accident report online through the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security's website. The report is available for $10 after you have provided the following information as well as online payment of the fee:
- Last Name
- Date of Accident
- Reporting Agency
- Driver License Number
- One of the following: VIN, license plate, case, or tracking number
If you are struggling to recover an accident report after your accident and are looking for help with your case, Labrum Law Firm can help. Our experienced attorneys can gather copies of your crash report when we analyze your car accident. Contact us now to find out about your legal options and your legal options after an accident.
Contact Our Experienced Car Accident Attorneys for Help and Legal Advice Today
If you or a loved one suffered injuries and property damage in an accident due to someone else's fault, recovering an accident report in Tennessee can be crucial for your case. A police report can help strengthen an insurance claim and protect your legal rights. Even if you think you may be at fault or partially at fault for an accident, you should recover the police report for your records.
Labrum Law Firm is committed to helping Tennessee accident victims navigate the legal system and recover fair compensation for their injuries and financial losses. The seasoned car accident attorneys at our offices can investigate your case fully, obtain the relevant police report, and discuss your legal options with you. We can deal with the legal issues and paperwork while you are free to concentrate on your health and recovery.
Call Labrum Law Firm now and schedule a free consultation with one of our dedicated and compassionate legal team members: (615) 338-9500.