Indiana is an at-fault state, which means that the victim in a car accident can pursue damages from the at-fault driver. But to do so, the victim will need to prove that the other driver was at fault for the accident.
No matter what, it’s always smart to get a police report after a car accident. This can provide valuable proof in a car accident case.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean that a police report will automatically show which driver was at fault for the accident. It can provide some guidance and proof. But, ultimately, you and your attorney will need to prove that the other driver was at fault.
We’ll outline what you need to know about filing a police report after an Indiana car accident.
When Do You Have To File an Indiana Accident Report?
Drivers involved in a motor vehicle accident should call 911 when property damage exceeds $1,000. Additionally, if you’re involved in an accident with an unattended vehicle where the owner can’t be found, you must also report this to local law enforcement immediately. Failing to do so could become a serious offense.
What Valuable Information Is Included in an Indiana Police Report?
While a police report does not specifically outline fault, it does provide helpful details that are useful during court cases in proving fault. This information includes:
- Narrative and diagram details on where and how the accident took place.
- Witness accounts (if there were any witnesses).
- Skid-mark patterns and observations based on the damage to the vehicles involved.
- Contributing circumstances, such as driver impairment, unsafe speeds, failure to obey posted signage, distracted driving, and more.
- Mechanical failures, such as a tire blowout or brake malfunction.
- Environmental factors, including obstructed roadways, poor road surfaces, road work, and more.
How To Request an Indiana Crash Report
The easiest way to get access to your Indiana crash report is to work with a skilled car accident lawyer. Your lawyer will know how to obtain this report and use it for your case.
However, if you choose to avoid working with an attorney, Indiana offers an online service where you can request your crash report. Just know that you’ll need to pay a small fee to obtain your crash report.
Why You Should Create a Personal Accident Report
If police officers are unable to come out to the scene of an accident, you should file a personal accident report. Even when property damage exceeds $1,000, police are sometimes too busy to respond right away due to an influx of calls.
Additionally, you never know what injuries you might have that are not apparent at the moment of an accident. This is why you need to create a personal accident report.
Here’s what you should include in your personal accident report:
- Accident scene photos and thorough documentation of any damages to the vehicles.
- Name, phone number, and address for all of the people in the vehicles at the time of the accident—this includes both drivers and passengers.
- Driver’s license number for all drivers involved.
- License plate numbers for involved vehicles.
- Car insurance information for all drivers.
- When applicable, name and badge information for responding officers—this will make it easier to get access to your accident report once the officer has formally filed it.
Hiring an Indiana Car Accident Attorney
The sooner you hire an Indiana car accident attorney, the better. Once you start interacting with the insurance company and making statements related to the accident, it becomes harder for a lawyer to represent you. However, it is not impossible to seek legal representation long after a car accident took place.
At Stewart & Stewart, we offer a free consultation to get to know you and your case, regardless of when your accident took place. Contact us now for more information.