After an accident, you want an experienced, dedicated legal team working on your side. You’ll find Indiana’s top lawyers at Wagner Reese. We have earned numerous awards for the way we represent our clients and their best interests.
In 2023, eight of our attorneys were selected to either the Super Lawyers® or Rising Stars lists, which include only a small percentage of all practicing legal professionals nationwide. Three of our attorneys were named in The Best Lawyers in America©, presented by Best Lawyers®. Our founding partners, attorneys Stephen Wagner and Jason Reese, were among Indiana’s Top 25 Super Lawyers® and Best Lawyers® honorees.
One thing our clients often come to us for help with is police reports. It can be difficult to get and understand these vital pieces of documentation. Obtaining a police report in Indiana and understanding its contents is crucial if you’ve been involved in an incident or accident, like a car crash. These reports serve as official records detailing the circumstances, observations, and findings related to a specific event. As confusing as they may seem at first, know that the legal team at Wagner Reese is here to help you every step of the way. With this in mind, here’s a comprehensive guide on obtaining a police report in Indiana and deciphering its contents.
How to Obtain a Police Report in Indiana
Before anything else, identify the law enforcement agency that responded to the incident. In Indiana, different agencies handle reports based on the location of the incident. Your police report could be with the city police, county sheriffs, or state police.
Visit the Police Department
Typically, the police department that responded to the incident will have the report on file. Visit their office in person or check their website for specific instructions on obtaining a copy of the report.
Request the Report
You’ll need specific details about the incident, such as the date, location, and parties involved, to request the report. Some departments might allow online requests or provide forms to fill out for report requests.
Pay Any Necessary Fees
There might be a fee associated with obtaining a copy of the police report. Be prepared to pay this fee, which varies based on the number of pages or the complexity of the report.
Pick Up or Receive the Report
After submitting the request and payment, the department will process your request. Depending on their procedures, it may take a few days to several weeks to receive the report.
Once processed, you can either pick up the report in person or have it mailed or emailed to you, depending on the department’s policies.
Understanding a Police Report
When you receive the police report, it’s essential to thoroughly review and understand its contents. Police reports typically include various sections and information, which may vary depending on the type of incident.
This section includes information about the incident, such as the date, time, and location. It may also specify the type of incident, whether it’s a traffic accident, theft, assault, or another type of crime. A detailed narrative written by the responding officer(s) is included and outlines their observations, statements from involved parties, details of the scene, and any actions taken.
Details about witnesses present at the scene, including their names, contact information, and statements given to law enforcement, might be included. Witness statements can provide valuable perspectives on the incident.
Information about the individuals involved in the incident, including their names, addresses, contact details, and, in the case of a traffic accident, insurance information and driver’s license details. Information about the responding officer(s), including their names, badge numbers, and contact information, is usually included.
Diagram or Sketch
In the case of a traffic accident, there might be a diagram or sketch illustrating the positioning of vehicles, road conditions, and other relevant details.
Charges or Citations
If any charges were filed or citations issued, they will be listed in the report. This section may also include the officer’s assessment of fault or contributing factors to the incident.
Evidence or Property Seized
For certain incidents, particularly crimes, there might be a section detailing any evidence collected or property seized by law enforcement.
Deciphering the Report
Read the report carefully, noting any discrepancies or missing information. Check that all details, including names, addresses, and incident descriptions, are accurate. Any inaccuracies could affect insurance claims or legal proceedings. If you find errors, contact the police department to rectify them. Our legal team can help you with this, and to understand the terminology used. Police reports often use specific terminology or codes.Our legal assistance can help decipher any unfamiliar terms or codes.
We also encourage you to pay close attention to witness statements in the document, as they might provide additional perspectives or crucial details about the incident. We can read it as well, taking special care to make note of any legal implications. If the report involves legal matters or potential disputes, our legal counsel will help you to understand the implications and your options moving forward.
Contact Wagner Reese to Take The Next Steps
Obtaining and understanding a police report in Indiana is vital for individuals involved in incidents or accidents. These reports serve as critical documentation and provide a comprehensive overview of what transpired. By following the proper procedures to obtain the report and carefully reviewing its contents, individuals can ensure accuracy, address any discrepancies, and utilize the information for insurance claims, legal proceedings, or other necessary actions following an incident.
In 2023, eight of our attorneys secured coveted spots on either the Super Lawyers® or Rising Stars lists. Three of our accomplished attorneys earned placements in The Best Lawyers in America©, a distinction presented by the renowned publication Best Lawyers®. Among the select few acknowledged as Indiana’s Top 25 Super Lawyers® and Best Lawyers® honorees, are our founding partners, Stephen Wagner and Jason Reese. These awards are only a few reasons why so many victims trust our auto accident attorneys to answer their questions and move their claims forward. Call 866-828-0308 to learn more.