Hartford Police Accident Reports

A closeup shot of a police cruiser's red flasher shining at night.If you’re struggling with insurance company errors or issues with a police accident report, Bert McDowell is here to help.

Thanks to his years of experience helping accident victims, Bert and his team are highly familiar with the process of filing and requesting police reports. They know what information is important and what factors may impact the validity of your claim.

Whether you were hit by another driver, involved in a multi-car accident, or involved in a pedestrian or bicycle incident, Bert can review the police report for accuracy and help you understand what elements are most important for successfully lodging an insurance claim. Reach out to us today to schedule a free, no-obligation case review when you call (203) 633-7449 or contact us online.

Why Are Hartford Police Accident Reports Necessary After a Car Crash?

After a car accident, it is essential to complete a police report so that you have a full, official accounting of the events that happened. Even in a minor accident where no one was injured, your insurance company will want to see that you contacted the police and filed an official report.

Connecticut law stipulates that police accident reports are required in certain circumstances. For instance, if you’re involved in an accident that causes injuries or death, you must file an accident report.

The same rule applies to situations where an accident causes property damage, but the owner isn’t present and cannot be reached after reasonable attempts at getting in touch.

Outside of circumstances where police reports are required, it is still wise to call law enforcement to the accident scene. You don’t want to discover later on that someone is injured (or claiming to be injured) or that the accident caused more property damage than you thought.

Without a third-party account of what happened, people could make unsubstantiated claims that damage your case and hinder your ability to receive compensation. To help ensure fair treatment, call the police directly to the scene and complete the accident report as soon as they arrive.

What Elements Are Included on a Police Report?

Every police precinct is different, and the details on your police report may vary depending on the severity of the accident, the guidelines of the local precinct, and the approach of the officer you end up speaking with.

Generally, though, police reports will include a mix of the following:

  • Basic information: The officer will record basic details about everyone involved, including names, ages, addresses, and any reported injuries. This includes details about the vehicles, such as plate numbers, VINs, make/model details and the conditions of safety restraints and airbags.
  • Events leading to the crash: The officer will speak with involved parties as well as witnesses to understand how the crash occurred. They’ll look for an inciting event and record details about the actions of everyone involved. They’ll also take down information about the conditions of the vehicles, including damage, positioning, and any other relevant observations.
  • Information about the general surroundings: Environmental and situational factors can contribute to accidents. Elements such as snow, standing water, damaged or downed road signs, broken stop lights, bad roads, poor lighting, and road construction may be mentioned in the accident report.
  • Witness details: When possible, officers will interview witnesses to gather other perspectives on what happened. They’ll write down a detailed description of each witness’s story, along with contact information, so that they can follow up if needed.
  • Relevant tests or documents: Authorities may administer tests if they suspect that someone was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These test results will become part of the accident file.

Do You Need a Police Report for a Small Accident?

Even in a fender bender where no one was visibly injured, it’s wise to call the police to the scene.

Unfortunately, there are deceptive people who may act as if everything is fine at first, only to come back later and claim that your actions caused them injuries. People may try to take advantage of the situation if there isn’t anyone around to hold them accountable.

By calling the police to the scene, you cut down on the chances that someone will come back later to make frivolous claims.

It is worth noting that even small accidents can cause injuries, as well. A crash victim may genuinely feel fine at the scene of the collision, but hours or days later, complications could arise.

You don’t want to piece the accident together after the fact if you can avoid it.

Finally, insurance companies often require accident reports to process claims. They’ll want a third-party account of what happened to ensure the accident took place and to verify that the involved parties are entitled to receive payouts.

Without an accident report, you’re unlikely to make progress when filing an insurance claim.

Request a Copy of Your Police Report

After an accident, you’ll want to request a copy of the police report to ensure it accurately reflects the events that happened.

Connecticut State Police allows people to request copies of accident reports online. You’ll need to supply three pieces of information, such as the date of the accident, the license plate number of an involved vehicle, the last name of one of the involved parties, or the driver’s license number of one of the drivers.

Note that the State Police will only have a record of the accident if they responded to the scene.

If Hartford Police responded to the accident, you can request a copy of your report online, in person, or over the phone.

Visit their website to make an online request or give the department a call at (860) 757-4150. You’ll need to wait 7-15 business days after the accident happens before requesting the report since the officer has to create the document and enter it into the database.

Copies of the report cost 50 cents per page.

Addressing Errors or Inaccuracies on Your Police Report

The information you provide in the report is key to helping the insurance company determine who is at fault. However, drivers often complete these reports with law enforcement shortly after an accident while emotions are still running high.

A frazzled driver might forget key details, implicate themselves inadvertently, or provide inaccurate information.

Further, law enforcement officials are only human, and they can make mistakes as well. After all, information is gathered at the scene, and crash scenes can be chaotic and overwhelming.

Errors may be small and simple — like recording the time of the accident incorrectly or misspelling someone’s name. However, errors can also be significant. Mistakes in describing the sequence of the events, the actions of the drivers, or the conditions of the vehicles can impact the outcome of the insurance investigation.

Ultimately, inaccurate information on your police report could affect your ability to receive an insurance payout and impact your driving record for years into the future.

If you notice an error on your report, the first step is to reach out to the officer to inquire about making a correction. The officer has to make the change in order for the report to be valid.

If it is a simple mistake, the officer may comply without too much effort on your part.

However, if you are requesting a significant alteration that could change the course of the investigation, you might meet some resistance. When possible, prepare evidence to support your claim so that you can make a compelling case for yourself.

If you end up at an impasse with the officer, or if you want help before you even approach them about making changes, a Hartford personal injury attorney can assist you. An attorney can gather and organize evidence to support your claims about altering the accident report.

They’ll speak with you, the other involved parties, and any witnesses to uncover what happened. They can also gather video evidence or other documentation (when available) to help support your claim.

If the officer agrees to update their report, they’ll need to amend the original record or submit an addendum that spells out the alterations. From there, you’ll want to contact the insurance company to verify that they have the latest version of the accident report.

Get in Touch With a Hartford Police Accident Reports Attorney Today

Being involved in an accident is unpleasant. It’s even more unpleasant to discover that the facts about the incident have been skewed, even if it’s the result of an honest mistake.

Thankfully, Connecticut law offers recourse in this situation — but the onus is on the victim to defend their position and demonstrate why the report should be changed.

Bert McDowell can provide support and legal guidance as you request an accident report alteration. He and his team can also assist with gathering police report information, conducting your own crash investigation, and handling key processes in your injury claim so as to maximize your chances of recovering the compensation you need.

During his years of experience as a personal injury attorney, Bert has built strong relationships with law enforcement and has a reputation as an honest and fair professional. He’ll advocate for your rights with determination and passion.

If you’re ready to have Bert take a look at your case, reach out to him at (203) 633-7449 or contact us online to schedule a free evaluation and consultation.