If you are involved in a Maine car accident, you will often notice that the responding officer will interview you and other witnesses, inspect the scene, and record notes. These notes will form the basis of an accident report, which contains a police officer’s observations in the aftermath of a crash. Crucially, the report may also include the officer’s opinions about the accident, including the person they believe was responsible. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a Maine car accident, you should request a copy of the accident report as soon as possible.
Why Should You Request an Accident Report?
In the event that you sue the responsible party for negligence, the accident report could support your version of events. If an officer believes that another party’s negligent behavior contributed to the crash, you can introduce the accident report as evidence to support your claim. In addition to helping your claim, an accident report can also negate a defendant’s alternative story of the accident. For example, the defendant may claim you struck their vehicle, but the officer may reach the opposite conclusion. An accident report can thus provide powerful, unbiased evidence from a neutral third party that you were not at fault, or the defendant was more at fault.
In addition to helping your case in a negligence lawsuit, accident reports can also prove helpful in the insurance process. If your vehicle suffers property damage from an accident, you can use the accident report to file a claim with your insurance carrier. If the officer concluded you were not at fault for the accident, you could have a stronger claim for your insurance carrier to cover your expenses.
How Can You Request an Accident Report in Maine?
According to the Maine Department of Public Safety, you can request an accident report copy by searching for your report and buying it online, or you can mail a request form to the Maine State Police Traffic Division. You can find information on both methods using the Maine Crash Reporting Online Search & Ordering Service. The cost of an accident report is $10. However, you should know that Maine only maintains “reportable crashes” in its accident report database. The Department considers a “reportable crash” to be one that resulted in at least $1000 of combined damage. If your accident report is in the database, you should receive a copy within 24 hours of searching for it online. Should you choose to mail a request form instead, you can expect to receive your copy within five days. If your crash was not “reportable,” you may be able to obtain a copy of the accident report from the local police department that responded to the scene of your accident.
Do You Need a Maine Car Accident Attorney?
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a Maine car accident, contact Peter Thompson & Associates to discuss your case. The personal injury attorneys at our firm possess years of experience representing accident victims in Maine. Through our skilled and dedicated representation, we can help gather evidence and develop a legal strategy to maximize your recovery. For a free initial consultation with a member of our team, call our office at 800-804-2004 or use our website.