If you were involved in a car accident or other accident where you were injured, you should call the police immediately. The police will come to the scene and prepare a police report that you should be able to obtain later.
The Jackson Police Department’s website is not particularly forthcoming on how you go about getting a police report from them. Ultimately, they only provide a phone number to call to request a report and do no have information about where to go, what forms to fill out, or how much the report will cost. If you are having trouble procuring a report, our attorneys can help you get a report and review it with you as part of a free case review.
Please call Howe Law’s Jackson, MS car accident attorneys at (844) 876-4357 today for a free case evaluation.
What Information is in a Police Report in Jackson, MS?
The police are supposed to collect license, insurance, registration, contact information, and other details from the parties involved in the accident. The police often record statements from parties at the scene as well. Our Mississippi car accident lawyers will be on the lookout for any statements from the opposition which are inconsistent with the statements recorded in the police report or any other helpful facts we can use to support your injury claim.
Sometimes police officers include a combination of their own observations, their opinions about what happened, and statements from other people who actually saw the crash. The law sometimes makes a distinction as to which parts of the report could be admissible in your case. In any case, the contents of the report are still a helpful guide for building your case, whether they are admissible or not.
Getting a Police Report from the Police Station in Jackson, MS
One way to obtain the police report you need is to go directly to the police station and ask for a copy. Also, if you know the name or badge number of the police officer who took the report, you may be able to obtain a copy of the report from the officer directly.
As mentioned, the Jackson PD’s website is not particularly clear on the steps for getting a report in Jackson. You may need to fill out a form and pay a fee for the report. Be sure to have your ID with you as the police department is likely to ask for it; most departments will not give you the report unless you are one of the parties involved in the crash. You might be able to get the police report on the same visit, or you may have to come back when the report is ready.
Some police stations have a form that you are to fill out and mail back in. When you do that, you might be able to go to pick up the police report in person or have it mailed to you, with different fees potentially applying to both situations.
Getting a Police Report Online in Jackson, MS
Some precincts will list the procedure for obtaining a police report on their website. There might be a form to fill out as well as an online payment section. Look to see whether there is a time frame listed in which you can expect to receive your report. The Jackson police website, unfortunately, lists none of this information and merely provides a phone number to call, so you can find out more about the availability of online reports by giving the station a call.
Be careful of third-party websites. Some websites claim that they can obtain a police report for you. Some online services are legitimate and reputable, such as Lexis Nexis’ Buycrash.com service, but police stations have to actually reach out and contract with those sites before reports are available on that site.
No matter the method by which you obtain a police report, you must ensure that it is a true and correct copy of the report. Not all companies will provide verified government records, and many will only provide redacted reports. This means that they are missing important information your lawyer or the insurance companies will need.
Why Insurance Companies Need a Copy of the Police Report for Jackson, MS Car Accidents
Car insurance companies often want to see a copy of the police report before paying any damages. Generally, they believe that an injury victim will only call the police and make a report of a car crash if it indeed happened, and having a police officer’s statements about the accident helps verify to the insurance company that the accident really happened and that you were really injured in it. However, insurance companies might not use the report to help you.
Since you get compensation in Mississippi by claiming damages against the at-fault driver’s insurance, that insurance company is under no obligation to believe that you were really the victim in your case. Insurance companies often try to deny that their driver was at fault and even flip the case around, blaming victims for causing their own accidents. They may be able to point to evidence in the police report to help support these denials and defenses.
Biloxi car accident attorneys will usually want a copy of the report for similar reasons. Having the report allows us to verify some of the facts you tell us, but as your attorneys, we will use the other facts to help you. We can use admissible evidence from the police reports to back up your claim and corroborate your own statements, helping prove that what you claim is true. We can also shut down the insurance company’s attempts to use inadmissible parts of the report. Ultimately, we can take your case to trial if the defendant’s insurance company is unwilling to admit fault or negotiate a fair settlement.
At trial, we can rely on other, stronger evidence like photos and witness statements to prove that the other driver was at fault. Nonetheless, the police report can be an important building block in putting your case together and knowing what evidence and eyewitness testimony is out there to collect.
Call Our Jackson, MS Car Accident Lawyers Today
Contact our Jackson personal injury attorneys at Howe Law today at (844) 876-4357 today for a free case evaluation.