When you are involved in a car accident, the quickest way to report the crash is to call 911. The 911 dispatcher will send an officer who has jurisdiction over the location where the accident occurred. To protect your right to file an accident claim, you an officer to file a collision report. This report is an official document you can use to prove to the insurance company that a collision occurred and it involved the company’s insured driver.
Where Do I Get a Copy of My Car Accident Report?
There are several ways to obtain a copy of your car accident report. The means you use depends on the location of your accident. If your accident occurred within the city of New Orleans, you need to contact the New Orleans Police Department, or you can purchase a copy of the report online through BuyCrash.
For accidents that are on the interstate or other location where the state police respond, you must contact the Louisiana State Police Department. You can download a copy of the accident report by using the LSP’s online crash report system. The system has reports from crashes throughout the state. Lastly, if the Orleans Parrish Sheriff’s Office responded to your traffic accident, contact the sheriff’s office to inquire about obtaining a copy of your crash report.
Once you receive a copy of your accident report, review the report carefully to ensure all information on the form is correct.
Correcting an Error in Factual Information
If you find errors in factual information, report the errors to the officer or the responsible department immediately. Factual errors could include the date of the accident, the weather conditions, the location of the accident, or the names of the drivers. Factual information can be corrected by amending the report, but you must be able to prove that the factual information is incorrect.
Disputing Other Information
Your crash report also contains information regarding the officer’ investigation, including a determination of who caused the car crash. Drivers often disagree with an officer’s determination of fault because both drivers have different versions of how the accident occurred. You may have a case where witnesses also offer different versions of the events that led to the collision.
While you may disagree with the officer’s final interpretation and judgment, this information cannot be changed simply because you disagree. You would need extremely convincing and compelling evidence to change this portion of an accident report. In most cases, the officer will not change the report even if we give him the evidence.
Therefore, our time is best spent conducting an independent investigation to identify and gather evidence to prove the other driver is at fault. The police report provides valuation information, but it is not typically used at trial because the officer is basing his findings on what the drivers told him and not actual knowledge of the collision.
Proving Fault in a Car Accident Case
To recover compensation for your injuries, you must prove the other driver caused the collision. Our New Orleans car accident attorneys use a variety of resources to gather evidence. Depending on the case, we interview witnesses, inspect the accident scene, gather medical records, hire an accident reconstructionist, and utilize other industry experts. The goal is to conclusively prove the other driver is at fault to maximize the amount of compensation you can receive for your injuries.
Call a New Orleans Car Accident Attorney for Help
If you need an attorney you can trust to put your best interest first, call Attorney Fred Olinde of The Olinde Firm. You can reach our office at (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889 to request a free consultation with a New Orleans accident attorney.