How to Obtain Your Bridgeport Police Department Car Accident Report

Obtaining a police report after an accident is a critical step that should not be overlooked, regardless of the severity of the incident. A police report serves as an official and impartial account of the accident, detailing the circumstances and providing essential information that can be crucial in the aftermath.

This document can play a significant role in various legal, insurance, and personal contexts, ensuring that the events are recorded accurately and fairly.

How to Get a Police Report After a Car Accident

To obtain a police report after an accident in Bridgeport, CT, you will need to contact the Bridgeport Police Department Records Division, which is responsible for maintaining and storing all incident and accident reports. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to get your accident report:

  1. First, you need to obtain the incident or accident report number. You can do this by calling the Records Division at (203) 581-5270. The phone line is available Monday through Friday from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., excluding holidays. It is important to note that due to confidentiality policies and the high volume of calls, the department does not provide report information over the telephone, so you will only be able to get the report number this way.
  2. Once you have the report number, you can obtain a copy of the accident report in person by visiting the Police Department’s Records Division at 300 Congress St, Bridgeport, CT 06604. The office is open during the same hours as the phone line. Be prepared to pay a fee of $0.50 per page. For example, a typical accident report involving two cars usually amounts to around eight pages and costs approximately $4. Remember that only cash payments are accepted if you are obtaining the report in person.

Acquiring a Police Report by Mail

If visiting in person is not convenient, you have the option to request the report by mail. To do this, you need to send a written request that includes the complete file number, a money order for the appropriate amount (based on the number of pages), and a self-addressed stamped envelope to the Records Division.

Unfortunately, faxing of reports is not an option.

Acquiring a Police Report Online

Accident reports can also be purchased online for those who prefer a digital option for an additional fee. However, you will need to wait five business days after the accident for the report to be accessible in the online system.

This option provides convenience for those who may not be able to visit the department in person or prefer a quicker method than mail.

Why Do I Need a Police Report?

First and foremost, a police report provides an objective account of the accident, compiled by law enforcement officers who are trained to assess the scene and gather relevant information. This includes details such as the time, date, and location of the accident, the parties involved, witness statements, and any violations of traffic laws.

This impartial documentation is invaluable when there are conflicting accounts of the incident, as it helps establish a clear narrative based on facts gathered by a neutral party. In disputes over fault, having this official record can be decisive in resolving disagreements and determining liability.

Moreover, a police report can be essential for legal proceedings. In cases where accidents result in injuries or significant property damage, legal action may be necessary.

Whether you are pursuing a lawsuit for compensation or defending against one, having a police report as evidence strengthens your case. It provides a credible account of the incident that can support your claims and counter any false allegations.

Courts and personal injury attorneys often regard police reports as reliable evidence, making them a cornerstone in the litigation process.

On a personal level, obtaining a police report can offer peace of mind. Accidents can be stressful and disorienting events, and remembering all the details accurately can be challenging, but by having a police officer document the scene, individuals involved in the accident can rest assured that an official record exists, which they can refer to when needed.

This can be particularly important for future reference, such as recalling details for medical treatment, insurance matters, or any subsequent legal needs.

The Connecticut Uniform Police Accident Report Form

After a car accident in Connecticut, you’ll likely receive a copy of the official report from the responding officer. This document, known as the Connecticut Uniform Police Crash Report (Form PR-1), plays a crucial role in insurance claims, legal proceedings, and simply understanding the details of the incident.

Understanding the Connecticut Uniform Police Accident Report Form empowers you to interpret the events that transpired and protects your rights. By familiarizing yourself with its contents, you’ll be better equipped to navigate insurance claims, potential legal actions, and ensure an accurate record of the accident exists.

However, navigating its various sections can be confusing. Let’s break down the key components of the form to help you gain clarity.

Page 1

Page 1 of the Connecticut Uniform Police Accident Report Form is the first half of the crash summary and is organized into distinct sections to capture comprehensive details about a crash.

Crash Date, Time, Severity, and Location

  • Crash Date & Time: The specific date (month, day, year) and time (in military time format) of the accident are recorded.
  • GPS Readings: For precise location data, the report captures the latitude and longitude coordinates using a GPS device (if available).
  • Town Name & Township Number: The town where the accident occurred is identified, along with its corresponding township number (assigned for internal reporting purposes).
  • Crash Severity: The report categorizes the accident’s severity based on injuries sustained:
    • Fatal: If at least one person involved died within 30 days of the accident.
    • Injury: If at least one person involved sustained an injury requiring immediate medical attention beyond first aid.
    • PDO (Property Damage Only): If no injuries were reported and the damage was limited to vehicles or property.
  • Location: The specific location of the accident is pinpointed in two ways:
    • Intersection: If the accident occurred at an intersection, the street names or route numbers involved are listed.
    • Non-Intersection: If the accident didn’t happen at an intersection, the distance (in feet or tenths of a mile) and direction (e.g., north, south) to the nearest intersecting road, town line, or mile marker are noted.

This detailed information in Section 1 is vital for emergency response, accident investigation, and generating accurate statistics.

Crash Factors and Conditions

  • Trafficway Ownership: Identifies who owns the road where the accident occurred (e.g., public, private).
  • Trafficway Class: Classifies the type of road (e.g., parking lot, on-road trafficway, not-on-road trafficway, non-trafficway).
  • Light Conditions: Indicates the lighting conditions at the time of the accident (e.g., daylight, dark-lighted, dark-not lighted).
  • Weather Conditions (up to 2): Allows officers to select two relevant weather conditions that might have played a role (e.g., rain, snow, fog).
  • Trafficway Surface Conditions: Describes the condition of the road surface (e.g., dry, wet, snow, slush).
  • Location of First Harmful Event: Pinpoints where the initial damaging event occurred (e.g., on the main roadway, median, or roadside).
  • Crash-Specific Location: Provides further details about the specific location within the broader crash area (e.g., junction, intersection, bridge, etc.).
  • Type of Intersection: If the accident happened at an intersection, this section specifies the type (e.g., 4-way, T, Y, etc.).
  • School Bus Related: Indicates if a school bus was involved in any way.
  • First Harmful Event: Categorizes the initial damaging event:
    • Non-Collision: No collision occurred (e.g., vehicle rollover, object in roadway).
    • Collision with Person, Vehicle, or Non-Fixed Object: A collision with another person, vehicle, or object not firmly attached to the ground (e.g., animal, bicycle).
    • Collision with Fixed Object: A collision with a permanently fixed object (e.g., tree, utility pole, guardrail).
  • Manner of Impact: Describes the way the vehicles or objects collided (e.g., head-on, rear-end, sideswipe).
  • Contributing Circumstances, Environmental (up to 3): Allows the officer to select up to three environmental factors that might have contributed (e.g., wildlife in the roadway, glare, visual obstructions).
  • Contributing Circumstances, Road (up to 3): Allows the officer to select up to three road-related factors that might have played a role (e.g., roadway obstructions, work zones, debris, etc.).

Work Zone Crash Information

  • Work zone (Y/N): A simple yes or no response to establish whether the accident happened within a designated work zone.
  • Location: If the answer to the previous question is yes, this section allows the officer to specify the location of the work zone relative to the crash (e.g., within the work zone itself, approaching the work zone, exiting the work zone).
  • Type: If a work zone was involved, this section helps categorize the type of work being done (e.g., construction, maintenance, utility work).
  • Workers present (Y/N): Identifies whether any construction workers were physically present in the work zone at the time of the accident.
  • Enforcement Present (Y/N): Determines if any law enforcement personnel were present specifically to manage traffic flow or safety within the work zone at the time of the accident.

Page 2

The second half of the crash summary is designed to provide a detailed visual and written account of the accident.

The first section is dedicated to the accident diagram, where officers sketch the scene of the crash. This diagram includes the positions of vehicles, road markings, traffic control devices, and other relevant spatial information that helps in visualizing how the accident occurred.

The second section is the narrative description, where officers provide a written account of the events leading up to, during, and following the crash. This narrative offers context that complements the diagram, detailing factors such as vehicle movements, driver actions, and witness statements.

Page 3

This page of the report describes a single vehicle involved in the accident. One copy of this page will be published for each vehicle involved in the accident.

Motor Vehicle Information

  • VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)
  • Make: e.g., Ford, Honda
  • Model: e.g., F-150, Civic
  • Color
  • Year
  • Road on which the vehicle was traveling
  • Direction of travel: e.g., Northbound, Eastbound
  • Plate number
  • Plate state: State that issued license plate
  • Total lanes in the roadway

Motor Vehicle Crash Information

  • Sequence of Events (Up to 4 in chronological order): This section allows the officer to outline the sequence of events leading up to the crash. They can choose up to four options, categorized as:
  • Non-collision events: This could include things like a mechanical failure causing a vehicle to veer off the road, a medical episode incapacitating the driver, or a tire blowout.
  • Collision with person, motor vehicle or non-fixed objects events: This covers the most common types of crashes, like hitting another car, a pedestrian, a cyclist, or a guardrail.
  • Collision with fixed objects event: This describes a crash where the vehicle hit a stationary object like a tree, building, or utility pole.
  • Motor vehicle action: This section identifies the action the vehicle was taking just before the crash.
  • Contributing circumstances, motor vehicle (Up to 2): This section helps identify potential factors within the vehicle that might have contributed to the crash.
  • Posted/statutory speed limit: This specifies the posted speed limit on the road where the crash occurred.
  • Towed: This is a simple question field indicating whether the vehicle required towing from the scene.
  • Towed to: If the answer to “Towed?” is yes, this section captures the destination where the vehicle was towed.
  • Body Type: This identifies the body style of the vehicle (e.g., Sedan, SUV, Pickup Truck, Motorcycle)
  • Motor Vehicle Damage Diagram: This section includes a visual representation of the damage sustained by the vehicle. It typically includes:
    • Initial contact point: The spot on the vehicle where the collision first occurred.
    • Damaged Areas (Up to 3): This allows the officer to select up to three areas of the vehicle that received damage (e.g., Front Left Bumper, Rear Right Quarter Panel)
    • Extent of Damage
  • Motor Vehicle Type: This clarifies the state of the vehicle at the time of the crash. Options could include:
    • In Operation
    • Parked
    • Working Vehicle/Equipment
    • Non-Collision Vehicle: The vehicle was involved in the crash but did not collide with anything (e.g., a car rear-ended by another car that then hit a third car).
  • Trafficway Description: This section describes the type of roadway where the crash occurred (e.g., Two-way not divided, two-way divided, etc.).
  • Roadway Grade: This describes the incline or decline of the road at the crash site (e.g., Level, Uphill, Downhill).
  • Roadway Alignment: This describes the curvature of the road at the crash site (e.g., Straight, Curved Left/Right).
  • Traffic Control Device Type: This identifies any traffic control devices present at the scene, such as traffic lights, stop signs, or yield signs.
  • Traffic Control Device Functional: This is a yes/no question indicating whether the identified traffic control device was functioning properly at the time of the crash.

Insurance Information

The vehicle’s insurance company, policy number, and expiration date are noted at the bottom of page 3.

Page 4

Page 4 of the Connecticut Uniform Police Crash Report delves into the ownership details of the vehicle involved in the accident. Assuming the operator of the vehicle was not the owner, this section acts as a vital resource for contacting the owner, filing insurance claims, and, ultimately, determining liability.

The final section on Page 4 sheds light on any property, besides the vehicles themselves, that was damaged during the crash. This helps paint a clearer picture of the accident’s full impact and identify potential claims that may arise.

Page 5

Page 5 contains relevant information about the driver. A complete report will include one sheet per driver involved in the accident.

License Information

This includes the license number of the driver and the state it is registered to. Beneath this are the following fields:

  • Driver License Jurisdiction: This contains different jurisdictions of licenses, such as state licenses, tribal nation licenses, federal, Canadian, and Mexican licenses, etc.
  • License Class: This categorizes the driver’s license based on the type of vehicle they are authorized to operate (e.g., Class C for cars, Class A for commercial vehicles).
  • Commercial License (Y/N)
  • Endorsements: This section lists any special endorsements on the driver’s license, such as for motorcycles or school buses.

Driver Information

  • Ejection: Whether the driver was completely (fully ejected), partially (partially ejected), or not ejected (not ejected) from the vehicle during the crash.
  • Restraint System: This indicates whether the driver was wearing a seatbelt (seatbelt) or not (no seatbelt).
  • Helmet Use (applicable for motorcycles): This applies only to motorcycle crashes and specifies whether the driver was wearing a helmet (helmet) or not (no helmet).
  • Airbag: This reveals whether the driver’s airbag deployed (deployed) or not (not deployed) during the crash.
  • Speed Related: This is used by the officer to indicate if speed was a contributing factor in the crash. It could be a simple yes/no response or a more detailed description.
  • Seating Position (First and Second Digit): This section captures the driver’s seating position within the vehicle using a two-digit code. The first digit identifies the row, and the second digit identifies the position within the row (Standard driver seating is 11). 
  • Driver Actions (Up to 4): This section dives into the driver’s actions or behaviors leading up to the crash.
  • Driver Distracted By: This builds upon the “Driver Actions” by pinpointing the specific distraction the driver was facing, if any.
  • Condition at Time of Crash: This explores the driver’s physical or mental state at the time of the crash (Normal, ill, fatigued, DUI, etc.).

Injury and EMS Information

  • Injury Status: Ranges from “no apparent injury” to “Fatal injury.”
  • Transported to First Medical Facility By: Identifies whether EMS, law enforcement, or other form of transportation delivered the driver.
  • EMS Name, Number, and Receiving Facility

Enforcement Actions Taken

This section lists the actions taken by the responding officer. There is also a space for detailing the violation statuses of the driver.

Drug/Alcohol Information

  • Alcohol test status
  • Drug test status
  • Type of alcohol test
  • Type of drug test

Page 6

Passengers are identified on page 6 of the report. Basic personal and contact information can be found for up to four passengers on a single page, and additional sheets may be used in the report if more than four passengers were in the vehicle.

Seating position, safety devices, and injury status are also recorded.

Page 7

The seventh page of the report covers non-motorist information, with one copy of the page per non-motorist involved in the accident. As with passengers and drivers, you will find identifying and contact information, injury and EMS information, and enforcement actions taken.

Appendices

Pages 8 to 12 of the PR-1 are appendices that provide additional information detailing the event. These pages allow responding officers to format the relevant information for specific types of cases.

Information gathered is largely the same as in an automobile accident.

  • Appendix A (Continued Narrative): This appendix provides space for the officer to offer a more detailed narrative account of the crash beyond what can be captured in the standard report sections.
  • Appendix B (Commercial Vehicle): This appendix focuses on crashes involving commercial vehicles (e.g., trucks).
  • Appendix C (Bus): This appendix tailors the information gathering to crashes involving buses.
  • Appendix D (Bicycle): This appendix focuses on bicycle accidents.
  • Appendix E (Witness): This appendix provides a dedicated space to record statements from witnesses to the crash.

Can You Claim a Car Accident Without a Police Report?

Yes, it is possible to make a car accident claim without a police report, though it may complicate the process. While a police report provides an official and impartial account of the accident, its absence does not automatically disqualify you from filing a claim.

However, it means that you will need to rely on other forms of evidence to support your case and substantiate your version of events.

Without a police report, it becomes even more important to promptly notify your insurance company about the accident. Provide them with all the evidence you have gathered, and be prepared to give a clear and consistent account of the incident.

You will also want to have your car accident lawyer in Bridgeport review the information you provide, as having thorough documentation can strengthen your claim. While the lack of a police report might lead to more scrutiny, a well-documented case can still be successfully processed.

Need Help With Your Bridgeport Car Accident Report? Call Bert McDowell

Following a car accident in Bridgeport, securing a copy of the official report is crucial. This document serves as vital evidence for insurance claims and potential legal actions.

Unfortunately, navigating the process to obtain the report can be confusing and time-consuming.

Here at Bert McDowell Injury Law, we understand the stress and challenges associated with car accidents. Our experienced team can handle the legwork of retrieving your Bridgeport car accident report.

We’ll ensure you get the document efficiently, allowing you to focus on your recovery and move forward.Don’t waste time navigating confusing procedures. Contact Bert McDowell Injury Law today at (203) 590-9169. We’ll handle the report retrieval process for you so you can focus on what matters most – getting back on your feet.