How to Get a Police Report for a Car Accident in Baltimore
By Harold Dwin on February 9, 2021 | In Accidents
If you’re involved in a car accident in Baltimore, or anywhere else in Maryland for that matter, you’ll want to collect as much information about the crash as you can.
One of the most crucial sources of information about a Baltimore car crash is the police accident report. The police report will often contain the basic facts of the accident, as well as information about who was involved, insurance information, and more. In many cases, the officer may issue a citation for fault in the crash, which could help when you’re trying to establish liability for the accident.
Do you know how to get a police report for a car crash in Baltimore? It’s not something everyone has experience with, but the team at Cohen & Dwin, P.A., can help. Contact us now by phone or online for a free consultation and claim review.
How to Get a Police Report After an Accident in Baltimore
The process for getting a police crash report is generally the same in Baltimore as it is anywhere in Maryland, but there are a few specific differences when it comes to Baltimore reports specifically. For records for accidents in Baltimore itself, you will have to request your records from either the Baltimore City Police Department or the Baltimore County Police Department, depending on where the accident occurred.
- Baltimore City Police Department records from 2011 onward are available from an online database. Records from previous years can be obtained by sending a mail-in form to the police department. You can download the form here. Mail-in requests require a $10 fee payable by certified check or money order. You’ll also want to include a stamped return envelope with your address already written on it. Send the form to:
Baltimore Police Department
Attention: Community Correspondence Unit
242 W. 29th Street
Baltimore, MD 21211
- For records from the Baltimore County Police Department, you’ll need to download a copy of the Police Report Request Form, include a request fee of $15 along with a pre-addressed and stamped envelope, and send it to:
Baltimore County Police Department
Information and Records Management Unit, Records Requests
700 E. Joppa Road
Towson, MD 21286-5501
If you’re requesting records from an accident that occurred outside of the City of Baltimore or Baltimore County, you can make a request from the Maryland Transportation Authority’s Central Records Unit. You can make your request through the mail, in person, or by email.
How Much Detail Will the Car Accident Police Report Have?
The level of detail in a police crash report will often depend on the severity of the crash and other factors. If someone was killed in the crash or was severely injured, police are required to make a full investigation and will include those details in the report. This will include things like the basic facts of the crash, any weather conditions related to the crash, witness testimony from anyone who saw what happened, if anyone involved in the crash was intoxicated, etc. The officer may issue a citation for fault.
In comparatively minor crashes, there may be fewer details included in the report. However, you’ll still want a copy of the report, especially if there was a citation issued by the officer who wrote the report. A police citation could provide important evidence in determining fault for a crash. However, it’s important to remember that the police do not determine civil fault for an accident. That’s a matter for the insurance companies, and ultimately the courts, to decide.
Does My Insurance Company Need a Police Report for My Claim?
While an insurance company may not require a police report for your claim, they’ll likely want it, and it’s in your best interest to obtain one. Even though the insurance company will complete their own report, the police report is another source of information that can be used to build your case.
It’s especially important to get a police crash report if the other driver was intoxicated at the time of the crash. That will be noted in the crash report, and it’s crucial to establishing liability for the accident.
Liability is a key issue in any car accident claim, but it’s especially important in Maryland because of how the state deals with issues of negligence. Maryland is one of a handful of states that use a doctrine known as “contributory negligence” for car accident claims. This means that if you are found to have played any role whatsoever in causing an accident, you can be barred from obtaining any compensation.
You will need a rock-solid case if you want to recover any compensation for your injuries after an accident. Obtaining a police crash report is a key source of information for virtually any claim.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Baltimore for Help Obtaining Your Police Report
Obtaining a police report can be a challenge when you’re laid up with serious injuries after a car crash. Fortunately, an experienced and dedicated Baltimore car accident lawyer from Cohen & Dwin, P.A., can help. In addition to helping you get the police crash report, we’ll be ready to launch our own investigation into how the crash really happened and who was to blame. We can identify all the potentially liable parties and all sources of compensation.
We can also handle all the negotiations with the other driver’s insurance company and prepare your case for court if a lawsuit becomes necessary. All the while, you can be assured of prompt, professional, and courteous service from our legal team.