While a police report is by no way binding, it can be influential in a settlement negotiation. The insurance companies sometimes rely on the information in the report when deciding whether to deny liability. A report may say one person is liable, and a court may later decide the opposite. However, a report does provide some value prior to court. Especially if another driver tries to wrongly blame you, insurance companies appreciate and value a police report which proves the adverse driver wrong. Thus, it is important to learn how to get a police report in Maryland.
When do You Need a Report
Before answering how to get a police report in Maryland, you need to determine whether you need a report at all. If you are in a car, truck, motorcycle, pedestrian accident, or any other type of accident, you can benefit from a police report. The police will not always come to the scene of an accident in Maryland, even if you call them. They may ask you how serious the accident is. If it is a more minor accident, they may deny service, which they have a right to do. However, police coming to the scene is always going to be beneficial. First, they can collect statements from the parties in the accident.
While some of the statements will be inadmissible in court, it helps give the lawyers on either side an idea of what is going on. Moreover, the police generally do a great job of collecting information on everyone in the accident. They record the information on an exchange of information sheet. While this is not the police report, it should contain information on each party and their respective insurance.
How to Get a Police Report Online
Requesting a police report online as an accident victim is going to vary slightly from county to county. In Prince George’s County, we can request your report online where they charge a $10 fee. The services most police departments in Maryland use are Crashdocs and BuyCrash. They require a case number and the name of the party involved. Moreover, they ask that we wait 72 hours after an accident occurs to request a report. If you are having trouble requesting the report online, as your attorneys, we are happy to request it on your behalf.
We also advance the $10 cost which you only have to reimburse for if we win your case. This is standard practice among personal injury law firms in Maryland and allows you to focus on your injuries if you are in no condition to request the report yourself. Call our office if you have any questions about how to get a police report in Maryland online.
How to Get a Police Report in Person
Requesting a police report in person as an accident victim is going to vary slightly from county to county. In Prince George’s County, you can request your report in person at the Police Records desk. This desk is only available during their normal business hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Once you get to the desk, you will need to fill out a report request form. You will also need to present a driver’s license or other government issued photo ID at the desk.
Same as for requesting the report online, you will have to pay $10 for the report. You will be able to pay for the report by money order, check, or credit card. If you do pay by credit card, they will charge you an additional fee of $1.50. Call our office if you have any questions about how to get a police report in Maryland in person.
How to Get a Report by Mail
Requesting a police report by mail as an accident victim is going to vary slightly from county to county. This is the way we typically do it for our clients. First, we will need a signature from you authorizing our office to obtain a copy of the report on your behalf. We get this signature from you during the onboarding process. While filling out the police department’s form, we include information such as the date of accident, location of the accident, type of accident or incident, and names of those involved. While this may be enough to get the report without a case number, the case number is always useful. In this request, we include a check for $10 that we advance on behalf of the client. Call our office if you have any questions about how to get a police report in Maryland by mail.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
If you have any questions on how to get a police report in Maryland, or any other questions about your accident, call our office today for a free consultation.