lawyer looking at police report

One of the key pieces of evidence in a lot of North Jersey personal injury cases is the police report. In this blog post, we’re going to go over just what is in that report, and how to get your hands on a copy. It is important to note that if you are a Levin & Malkin client, we will search out available police reports on your behalf, so this is not something you would need to do for yourself. 

What’s In A Police Report?

Police reports are official government documents made by the officers who respond to the scene of an accident or other incident that necessitates police assistance. 

In New Jersey, there is no standardized form that is used by police officers statewide. The forms vary by department. This means that not every police report will have the same sort of information included in it, however, most police reports will include:

  • The date and time of the incident 
  • The location of the incident
  • Who was involved
  • Were there any witnesses
  • What happened according to the people involved and witnesses 
  • What evidence was available at the scene of the incident or accident 
  • The officer’s observations and impressions

This information makes police reports a valuable piece of evidence in a personal injury case because physical evidence often disappears, and people’s memory of what happened can be unreliable. 

Is There A Police Report In My Case?

If police were called to the scene when you were injured, there should be a police report filed by the officer or officers who responded. However, there is no guarantee that a report will be filed. Law enforcement officers are given some discretion to decide if a report is necessary. 

If the police were not called to the scene, there is obviously not going to be a report available. This is one of the reasons it is critical to notify emergency personnel that an accident has occurred. 

How Do I Get A Copy Of A Police Report? 

In New Jersey, you can get a copy of most police reports by contacting the department that responded to the scene of the accident or incident. Visit the department’s website or give them a call and they will explain how to get a report. There may be a fee involved, even if you are the subject of the report. 

If the New Jersey State Police were the officers who responded to your accident, you can order a copy of the police report online. However, if the accident involved a fatality or was very serious, it may take a court order to get the records released. 

The Levin & Malkin Team Will Take Care Of You

Remember, if you are a Levin & Malkin client, we will get a copy of your police report on your behalf. You have better things to do with your time than shuffle paperwork. Please contact us if you would like to speak with someone about becoming a client.

Posted in: Personal Injury