It's a requirement to call the police at the scene of a crash and wait for them to arrive. Once the police arrive, they'll conduct an initial investigation and document important details that indicate how your crash occurred. It's important that you understand how to obtain and read your Alabama car accident report. Sometimes, the details documented in your report are inaccurate and need to be corrected. An experienced Alabama car accident attorney can dispute inaccurate details in your report.
How to obtain your Alabama car accident report
You can obtain a copy of your 4-page Alabama car accident report online at the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. Reports generally take up to 10 days from the date of the crash to become available online. Once yours becomes available, you can download a PDF copy for a fee of $17. Your attorney can also obtain a copy on your behalf.
What you will find in your report
On page 1, you'll find basic details such as:
- Date, time and location of the crash
- If the crash was fatal, was a hit-and-run or involved a school bus
- Driver information such as name, address, phone number, driver's license number and insurance information
- Vehicle information such as the make, model, body style, license plate number, vehicle identification number (VIN) and estimated damage
- If damage was inflicted on non-vehicular property
- Any arrests, charges or citations issued by a police officer
On page 2, you'll find:
- Passenger, injury and fatality information
- Hospitalizations and ambulance services provided
- A written narrative indicating how the crash likely occurred
- A drawn diagram of how the officer believed the crash occurred
On page 3, you'll find information on commercial vehicle crashes. This only applies if you were involved in a crash with a large truck, box truck, commercial van or bus. Here you'll find:
- Driver name and license class
- Carrier information
- Type of commercial vehicle and body style
- Events that led to the crash
- Date and location of the crash
Why is my report so important?
The investigation conducted by police is usually unbiased. The police are simply there to document what they see. The other driver's insurance company will also obtain a copy of the car accident report. If any information on there is incorrect, it can be used against your claim.
Furthermore, your car accident report can be used as a basis for your attorney to gather additional evidence. With the right evidence, it's difficult for the other driver's insurance company to argue that you were at fault. Your attorney can gather these key pieces of evidence to help prove that negligence led to your injuries:
- Electronic records from the at-fault driver's cellphone carrier
- Video footage from nearby surveillance cameras and witness dashcams
- Statements from witnesses
- Tire marks in the road at the crash scene
- Evidence collected by a crash reconstruction expert
If you were injured in a crash at no fault of your own, you may be able to recover medical costs, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. The legal team at Shuttlesworth Law Firm LLC can gather the facts needed to help maximize your compensation. Contact us online today to schedule your free and confidential case evaluation.