Any experienced personal injury attorney can tell you that documentation is critical after a car accident. While medical documentation of any injuries you sustained is important, it also helps to have a copy of a police report. You should consider obtaining a copy from the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) or the local department that investigated your accident. Information in a report can be extremely helpful for bolstering the merits of your car accident claim.
Depending on the circumstances there are specific steps you must take to obtain a copy of a car accident police report in Tennessee.
Steps for Obtaining a Car Accident Police Report in Tennessee
The process for obtaining a police report depends on which agency investigated the incident.
- The Tennessee Highway Patrol. If the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) investigated your accident, then you can obtain a copy of the accident report one week after the crash. You can request a copy to be sent through the mail by filling out a form on the THP’s website. Be sure to select the district office that investigated your accident.
- A city police department or county sheriff’s office. If a city police department or county sheriff’s office investigated your crash, then you must work with the appropriate office to obtain a copy of the report. After calling the office, you should be able to begin the process of obtaining a report through the mail. Fees may vary depending on the specific department that investigated your accident.
There may be an option to obtain the report through the Tennessee Department of Public Safety’s online portal by paying a $10 fee.
You do not necessarily have to obtain the report yourself. Drivers, vehicle owners, passengers and legal representatives can obtain accident reports.
What Is on a Car Accident Police Report in Tennessee?
Police reports may contain helpful information for your claim. Information on an accident report in Tennessee could include:
- Witness contact information. There may have been witnesses to your crash. Police may interview witnesses at the crash scene. Information from witnesses could help your accident claim.
- Information on property damage or injuries. Police reports may note property damage or injuries. This information could help quantify your economic damages.
- Relevant crash details. Police reports may contain information on the road conditions or the time and date the crash occurred. Additionally, the report could mention the officer’s views on what caused the accident.
Each police report is going to be different. However, information on what caused your crash and your possible damages could help the merits of your claim. The shock of surviving an accident, especially a serious one, can make it easy to forget details. It helps to have clarification on the incident from a neutral third party.
Additionally, it is important to note that reports can be amended. If any information on the report is incorrect or incomplete, submit an amendment to the agency. Contact the reporting agency to receive further instructions.
Filing a Car Accident Report in Tennessee
There are crash reporting requirements in Tennessee. You must report a car accident in Tennessee if the crash caused $50 or more in property damage or if there were injuries or deaths. There are additional scenarios where you could need to file a crash report. The locality where the crash occurred, or your insurance provider may require you to file a report. Most accidents require a report due to the low property damage reporting threshold.
You must also file an owner/driver report with the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security within 20 days if the accident resulted in deaths, injuries or more than $400 in property damage.
Contact Our Car Accident Lawyer in Nashville, TN
You should never wait to speak to an attorney after an accident. It is easy to make mistakes during the early stages of the claims process. These mistakes can prevent you from recovering adequate compensation. Crucial evidence can also disappear in the days or weeks after an accident. An attorney can help protect evidence and negotiate with the at-fault driver’s insurance provider.
If you were involved in a car accident in Nashville, Tennessee or the surrounding area, you can schedule a free consultation with the Law Office of Stanley A. Davis. Contact our office by using the contact form on our website or by dialing (615) 845-6141. Nashville car accident lawyer Stanley A. Davis can help you determine which steps to take after a car crash.