After you’ve been in an accident, the steps you take afterward can play a crucial role in the outcome of your Detroit car accident claim. And one of the most important steps along with contacting a Michigan car accident lawyer, is making sure you call the police so they can file a Michigan accident report.
Police reports are legally required after car accidents in Detroit. However, many people will simply rely on their insurance company to obtain a copy of the police report when they file an insurance claim for the accident. Unfortunately, this can negatively affect your claim, and there is no guarantee that the insurance company will obtain the report in a timely manner.
As such, it is important for accident victims to obtain Michigan accident reports themselves to ensure that the insurance company truly has what they need to process their claim.
Police accident reports play a crucial role in car accident claims. When you are injured in an accident in Detroit, you are entitled to PIP no-fault insurance benefits, no matter who was at fault for the accident.
However, for the insurance company to process the claim, they need an official copy of the Michigan accident report filed by the police. And while some insurance companies may claim that they will obtain a copy of the report for you, this is sometimes a delay tactic that they will use that could jeopardize your claim and your ability to recover compensation.
There could also be incorrect information on the police report that needs to be amended before you hand it over to the insurance company. So it is always in your best interest to obtain the accident report yourself and double-check that the information is correct before giving it to your insurance company.
Furthermore, though Michigan is a no-fault state, you could potentially have the right to file a lawsuit against the guilty party in the car accident. And if you decide to do so, the police report will serve as a critical piece of evidence to support your lawsuit.
So, after you have been in a car accident, you should obtain a copy of your Michigan accident report from the police as soon as possible. The sooner you get the report, the sooner your claim can be processed and you can get the money you need to pay for your accident-related medical bills and other potential expenses.
Information in Michigan Accident Reports That Can Help When You File a Detroit Personal Injury Claim
Michigan accident reports contain various pieces of information that can serve as evidence to support your claim. And it is important that you obtain a copy before handing it over to your insurance company or the court in case of a lawsuit to make sure that all of the information in the report is correct.
If the information in the report is incorrect, such as your name, address, or the make and model of your car, you can contact the police station to have this information fixed. However, if you believe that the investigating officer’s summary of what happened is incorrect, such as who crashed into who or who was at fault, this information may need to be disputed in a traffic court hearing.
Overall, the information in a Michigan accident report that can help support your car accident claim can include:
- Names of the drivers involved
- Contact information for the drivers involved
- Identity of the at-fault driver
- The injuries sustained by those involved in the accident
- Date and time of the accident
- A description of what happened
- Names and contact details of witnesses
- Damage caused by the accident
- Where the accident occurred
- Road or weather conditions at the time of the accident
- Traffic devices involved in the accident (stop signs, traffic lights, yield signs, etc.)
- Diagrams of the accident
How to Obtain Michigan Accident Reports After a Detroit Car Accident
There are generally two ways to obtain Michigan accident reports: online or in person. However, the specifics of what website you go to or what location you go to in person will depend on where the accident occurred specifically or which precinct handled the accident.
Either way, whether you go online or in person, you will need certain information to obtain the report, which may include:
- The name(s) of the driver(s) involved in the accident
- The name of the police department that responded to the accident
- The accident report number
* You will also need a credit card if you are obtaining the report online, as there is usually a small fee. If you intend to get a copy of the report in person, you will also likely be asked to pay a fee, but the fee and your options for paying may vary depending on the local police department.
How to get an accident report online from the Michigan State Police:
- Go to michigan.gov/msp
- Click in the “Traffic Reports” section under the “Popular Online Services” tab
- Register to use the system
- Click on “MSP Records Request”
- Complete the form
- Pay the fee
Specific local police departments, such as Grand Rapids, Lansing, Detroit, etc., may use various websites through which you can access their police reports. These websites include TracView, Clemis, and LexisNexis.
You can contact the local police department that handled your accident and ask them which website they use to request a copy of the report if you would like to do so online. Then simply follow the directions on that website for obtaining a copy of the report.
You can also contact the local municipality records clerk and ask about their Freedom of Information Act policy as it pertains to obtaining police accident reports. You can then follow the clerk’s instructions for how to request a copy of the report.
If you have further questions or concerns about obtaining your Michigan accident report, your personal injury attorney can help you. Working with an attorney is often a wise choice anyway, as they can help you navigate your claim and ensure you are compensated fairly, but they can also help you gather important evidence to support your claim, like the police report.
The Lee Steinberg Law Firm: Detroit Car Accident Attorneys
At The Lee Steinberg Law Firm, our car accident and personal injury attorneys have years of experience handling Michigan car accident claims. We know what information you need to successfully file a claim and can help you obtain important pieces of evidence like the Michigan accident report.
Visit our website for more information about Michigan accidents, or call our Michigan car accident attorneys at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733). You’ll pay nothing until we settle your case.