You can get a police report for a Tacoma, WA car accident from the Washington State Patrol. When in doubt, a Tacoma car accident attorney from our firm can help you after a car accident. We can collect the police report for you while you keep your attention on recovering from your injuries.
The police report can contain clarifying information about the crash, like the contact information for everyone involved, conditions at the time of the crash, and assignment of fault. While this is just one perspective on the accident—that of the officer who wrote the report—any of the information in a police report could prove valuable in getting compensation for an accident.
Your Options for Getting a Car Accident Police Report in Tacoma
You can get a police report for a car collision either online, by mail, or in person at the records office. According to the Washington State Patrol (WSP), what you may need to submit a request includes:
- Your name
- The collision report number
- The date of the accident
- $10.50 for the report
If you don’t have the collision report number, that’s understandable and not a barrier to getting a copy of the crash record. Having your name and the date of the accident is enough to find the police report.
Keep in mind that it can take anywhere from two weeks to a month for your report to become available for search and request. In the meantime, our Tacoma personal injury attorneys can work on gathering and preserving other evidence for your case.
Requesting an Accident Report Online
This is the most common way of obtaining a police report for a car accident in Washington. Although your crash happened in Tacoma, you will need to get the record through Washington State Patrol Requests for Electronic Collision Records (WRECR).
Additionally, don’t confuse WRECR with South Sound 911. The Tacoma Police Department may initially direct you there since it is the place for public records requests, but South Sound 911 will eventually send you to WRECR for collision reports.
The initial search for the record is free, but if you want a copy, you must pay the $10.50 fee.
Requesting a Police Report by Mail or in Person
As the Washington State Patrol (WSP) reports, you can request a car collision report by mail by filling out the Request for Copy of Collision Report Form, sending in the fee by check or money order, and mailing it to the correct address.
You also have the option of going to an office in person to request a collision report. The WSP Collision Records Station is located in Tumwater outside of Tacoma.
Why Get a Police Report After a Tacoma Car Accident?
Having to pay and wait for a record may sound tedious, but getting a copy of your collision report can help prevent other headaches when it comes time to seek damages for your injuries.
If you were completely blindsided or left with serious injuries, you might not know what happened to you, so details documented by the police are important puzzle pieces. Having crash report data provides our legal team with information we can use to reconstruct the crash with the help of experts.
Car Crash Records Help You Recover Damages
Some insurance claim and lawsuit disputes boil down to questioning your injuries after an accident, which can affect how much your car accident case is worth.
While police are not medical professionals, they are familiar with accidents and often report that injuries occurred in a crash. Having this record that a collision caused injuries, even if those injuries aren’t specified, can help our attorneys fight against attempts to delegitimize your claim. Your incident report can substantiate your demand for compensation for your medical bills.
Police Reports Provide Context for an Accident
Insurance adjusters and negligent drivers sometimes prey on your ignorance after a crash, using it as an excuse to point fingers or simply avoid accountability. As a result, the more information you have about your Tacoma auto accident, the better, including from a police report.
Some of the context the document can provide includes:
- Traffic conditions at the time of the crash
- Information about the liable party, such as their license plate number and the type of car they were driving
- The state of the road, including any debris, obstructions, or poor signage
- Weather that could have affected or contributed to the accident
- Angle of impact where the two cars hit each other
- Theories about the circumstances that caused the accident
- Any blood alcohol concentration (BAC) tests if applicable
Some of these might not seem important, like the weather. However, weather can play a role in a Tacoma truck accident case. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that truck drivers should reduce speed by a third on wet roads. If you were hit on a rainy day, having a police report that cites weather as a factor could provide evidence that the truck driver didn’t adjust for the conditions, making them careless.
In other words, the key to identifying the negligence in your case could lie in some of the dry statistics on the crash report. Our attorneys don’t want to miss a chance to find that evidence.
Collision Records Can Help Clarify Fault
After analyzing the accident scene, the police typically write a citation placing fault for a crash on one party or another. While this doesn’t always mean they have the right party—they might not have all the information—a citation frequently helps clear up any debates with insurers about who was responsible.
How Can a Tacoma Car Accident Lawyer Help With Police Reports?
In addition to doing the work to obtain the report for you, attorneys from our law firm can:
- Explain what the report says in simpler terms
- Pull out information that could prove relevant to your case
- Identify evidence to follow up on during our own investigation
- Use the report as part of our case for your damages
Whether the Tacoma collision record left you baffled from the start or you aren’t sure what to do with the information you gathered from it, a car crash injury lawyer can recognize what is significant and create a plan of action.
What Else Can an Auto Accident Attorney Do Following a Tacoma Crash?
We can review your case for free today, so contact us anytime 24/7 to get personalized answers to your questions. From filing insurance claims paperwork to seeking your possible compensation to arguing your case in court, you can trust Jackman Law Firm with your car accident case.