How A Police Report Can Help in a Truck Accident Case
If you’re involved in a truck accident, you might not know what to do in the days and weeks following the incident. You’re going to be upset, shaken up, and possibly injured. Understandably, you might not know where to turn. It’s important to remember that you need to contact the authorities, even if the accident seems minor.
Remember that Maryland is a contributory negligence state, meaning you cannot collect damages if you are even 1% at fault for the accident. In light of this fact, evidence collection is critical to proving your case and obtaining compensation. You have the right under the Maryland Public Information Act to obtain a copy of the truck accident police report, and that police report is going to be crucial in your case.
Learn more about how the truck accident police report can help you in a truck accident case. If you have questions or need representation, the Maryland truck accident attorneys at Pinder Plotkin can help.
When Must A Police Report Be Filed After A Maryland Auto Accident?
If you are in a car accident with a commercial truck in Maryland, you should report it to the police. These accidents can be devastating, with significant property damage and injuries.
State law requires that the following auto accidents must be reported to law enforcement:
- Someone is injured or killed.
- Property or vacant vehicles were damaged, and you cannot find the owner.
- One of the vehicles needs a tow.
- A driver under the influence was involved.
- It was a hit-and-run.
- The other driver will not give you their information.
The truck accident should be reported because the police report will provide critical evidence for your case. In addition, you will likely have severe injuries and vehicle damage after a truck accident, so the police will probably come quickly.
How Helpful Is The Police Report After A Truck Accident?
After most truck accidents, a Maryland state police officer or county law enforcement will take a police report at the scene. The police report is usually the initial evidence after a car accident, and it’s essential.
Maryland police officers see many truck accidents and can often quickly determine who caused the accident. However, the insurance adjusters also will make their own reports.
Responding police will talk to all drivers and passengers and interview eyewitnesses. The police report may note traffic and weather conditions and if one of the drivers violated a traffic law or was under the influence.
The report will also note vehicle damage, skid marks, the crash barrier damage, and details of where the truck and other vehicles are positioned. The report also may state who caused the accident, but not necessarily.
The police report will be critical in filing a claim against the truck company’s insurance provider. The police report is not admissible in a personal injury lawsuit, but your attorney may find it helpful during settlement negotiations. The report is another important part of the evidence puzzle because it is an official government document showing what happened.
However, the police report is just one piece of evidence that could be important to your case. Your Maryland truck accident lawyer can ask for other evidence during discovery.
How To Obtain The Police Report After A Truck Crash
If you did not receive a copy of the police report after the truck accident, there are several ways to get it. Contact Baltimore’s Central Records Unit of the Maryland Transportation Authority (MTA). There are three ways to get the police report from the truck crash. Your Maryland car accident lawyer can assist you if you have any difficulty:
If you want a police report copy sent to you by mail, contact the Central Records Unit. You’ll need to download a Report Request Form and make a check or money order payable to the Maryland Transportation Authority. You’ll need to include a self-addressed business envelope with your check or money order. Wait at least seven days until you request the report.
You also can receive a copy of the police report online. Offer as much information as you can about the police report you need. Include your name and when the accident occurred. Electronic versions of the report are free. Again, you should not submit your request until at least seven days after the truck accident.
You can obtain a copy of the truck accident police report in person at the Central Records Unit at the following address between 8 am and 5 pm, Monday to Friday:
Maryland Transportation Authority Police
Attn: Central Records Unit
4330 Broening Highway
Baltimore, MD 21222
You also should wait seven days after the accident before requesting the report in person. Then, pay the required fee by check or money order.
Note: You also can obtain a police report from the Maryland State Police by contacting the Central Records Division. If the truck accident happened in a local county in Maryland, you could get a police report copy at a local police station.
Contact a Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyer Today
A Maryland tractor-trailer accident can be a violent and upsetting event. You could have severe injuries and be unable to work. If the truck driver caused the accident, an experienced truck accident lawyer will fight for your rights. Call Pinder Plotkin today to learn how we can help with your case.