People involved in car accidents should always obtain a police report of the incident. It’s vital to gather all of the information you can about the accident. It’s not always obvious how to obtain a police report after a car accident in Maryland but the process is straightforward. The police report is often important in piecing together what happened in a car wreck. You have a right to obtain a copy under the Maryland Public Information Act.
If you hire a Baltimore car accident lawyer, your attorney can request the police report. There are also procedures to obtain it yourself. These are ways you can obtain a police report after a car accident in Maryland:
Ways to Obtain a Police Report in Maryland After a Crash
Contact the Central Records Unit of the Maryland Transportation Authority at 4330 Broening Highway, Baltimore. The MTA outlines three ways you can obtain police accident reports. A Maryland personal injury lawyer may be able to help with this.
Request Via Mail
If you want to request the police report of your accident via the mail, first contact the Central Records Unit. Check on the availability of the report and the fees you need to pay. Applicants must then download a Report Request Form. You should make money orders or checks payable to MDTA or Maryland Transportation Authority. Ensure you include a self-addressed, business-sized stamped envelope along with the payment. You should not request a report until at least 7 days have elapsed since the accident. The records unit will send you a copy of the report.
You can obtain a police report after a car accident in Maryland via email. Give as much information about the report you are requesting including your identity and the time of the accident. You can also use the Report Request Form referenced above. Electronic copies of the police incident report can be obtained free of cost. Requests for these reports should not be submitted until at least seven days after the car crash.
Obtain in Person
You can pick up a copy of a police report in person at the Central Records Unit during regular business hours from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday to Friday. The office is not open on state holidays. People who show up in person at the Central Records Unit should call before they arrive to check on the availability of the report to save a wasted trip as well as the associated fees. As with written or email requests, you should wait for seven days after the date of the incident before calling. All fees must be paid by check or money order at the time of receipt. An official copy of the report will be provided to you.
How to Obtain a Report from the Maryland State Police
You can contact the Central Records Division to obtain an accident report from Maryland State Police. You can obtain the report over 10 days after the accident. To obtain copies of motor vehicle accident reports or photographs of incidents that occurred in the City of Baltimore, contact the Central Records Division Baltimore Police Department at (410) 396-2234.
How to Obtain Post-Accident Police Reports from Your Local County
You may also obtain a police accident report from a local county in Maryland. In Prince George County, for example, you can obtain a police report in person or by mail. The fee for each copy is $10.
Accident reports are available around the clock on BuyCrash.com or Crashdocs.org for $10. You must give the case number and name of the parties involved in the crash. Citizens can also contact Police Records or any Prince George’s County Police station to obtain a copy of an accident report. You must provide government-issued photo identification. The fee for each copy is $10. Allow at least 72 hours after an accident before requesting a copy.
How Useful is a Police Report After a Car Accident in Maryland in Your Claim?
A report by a Maryland State Police officer or a county officer is compiled after most crashes with injuries or fatalities in the state. The police report is typically the first piece of evidence relating to the crash and one of the most important. Police officers attend many wrecks and are very adept at cutting through excuses and finding out who was to blame for a collision. However, the insurance adjuster also compiles a report independent of the official police report. Police talk to the drivers and passengers involved as well as other witnesses at the scene. They note factors like weather conditions. The officers may issue a citation or test a driver for alcohol or drugs.
The police officer will report the damage, record issues like skid marks or damage to crash barriers and note the location of the vehicles. The officer will compile a report related to what appeared to cause the accident and who was to blame.
The accident report is important in the lawsuit. For instance, if you receive a citation, you will face a difficult task in making a claim against another driver. You will have to challenge the charge in traffic court.
Although a police accident report is not admissible at a personal injury trial, they can be useful in personal injury litigation negotiations.
However, these reports can be limited in scope. In many cases, obtaining a police report is just the first step. A Maryland car accident lawyer can request additional evidence to bolster your case against the driver who hurt you.
Talk to an injury Lawyer About Obtaining a Police Report After a Car Accident in Maryland
At Rice, Murtha & Psoras, we can help you obtain the evidence you need to make a case against the driver who injured you. Our Baltimore personal injury attorney has a long track record of helping people hurt in car accident injuries. We carefully examine all police reports. We also look for inconsistencies and mistakes and probe the details of the accident in greater detail. We thoroughly investigate road accidents in Maryland. Call us today for a free, no-obligation consultation at (410) 431-0911.