Jill Kolodner | May 11, 2022 | Car Accidents
Maryland requires you to call the police after a car accident when the other driver is not in a condition to exchange information with you. This is one of many car accident scenarios that would likely result in a car accident report.
When you call the police after an accident, the agency will send officers to investigate it. Most officers will produce an accident report whenever they investigate an accident that causes an injury or death.
Read on to learn about car accident reports in Baltimore and how to get a copy for your injury claim.
Obtaining a Car Accident Report in Baltimore
When the police arrive at an accident scene, the officers will investigate the accident.
This investigation may include:
- Talking to each driver and the passengers involved
- Interviewing bystander witnesses
- Examining physical evidence such as car damage and skid marks
- Photographing the accident scene
When you talk to the officer, you will provide information about yourself, your vehicle, and the accident. The officer will take all of the information from each driver, passenger, pedestrian, or bicyclist involved in the accident to produce the accident report.
Maryland uses a standard form for all accidents regardless of the investigating agency. All police officers will complete the same accident report form and file it with the Maryland State Patrol (MSP) Central Records Division.
When you need a copy of your accident report, you can obtain it from the MSP. You can request a copy online, by mail, or in person at your closest MSP barracks. MSP charges $4 for a copy of the accident report.
For accidents investigated by the Baltimore Police Department, you can also get a copy of your accident report from the department. You must request a copy of your accident report online. The Baltimore Police Department charges $14 for an accident report.
In Maryland, accident reports are public records.
To get a copy of an accident report, you need one of the following:
- Report number
- Accident date and driver’s name
- Accident location and driver’s name
If you do not have this information, the agency can deny your request.
Contents of a Car Accident Report in Maryland
Car accident reports in Maryland include:
- Date, time, and location of the accident
- Name and agency of the investigating officer
- Name, address, and driver’s license number for each driver
- Make, model, and insurance information for each vehicle
- Names, addresses, and injuries for each passenger, pedestrian, and cyclist
- Diagram and description of the accident
- Citations issued by the police
The investigating officers should complete the accident report and send it to the MSP within ten days after the accident. You need to wait at least ten days before requesting a copy.
How Do You Use Your Car Accident Report in Baltimore?
Your accident report generally contains valuable information about the accident and the parties involved. This can be vital for an insurance claim or car accident lawsuit.
Some of the information that may prove helpful in your injury claim includes:
- Names of witnesses
- The officer’s description of the accident
- Citations issued and the officer’s determination of fault
For example, if the accident report lists a citation for distracted driving issued to the other driver, your lawyer can ask the driver about the citation. Your lawyer can also ask the investigating officer why they issued the ticket. This can help you prove that the other driver was at fault for the cause of the accident and therefore responsible for your resulting damages.
If the accident report strongly supports your version of events, the at-fault driver’s insurance company may attempt to settle the case instead of risking a lawsuit.