Police probably lost accident report after an accident
December 13, 2017 10:23 AM   Subscribe

A friend of mine was in an accident last week, and it was bad enough that he was taken away in an ambulance and his car was totaled. The police arrived on scene and supposedly took down the report, but the police have been "searching" for the report since then. What's their next step here?

I have a contact with the captain of another district in my city (in the US) who is helping me, but he's confirming that they're still searching for this report. There is a RECORD of the report, but they have been unable to find the paper copy of the report itself.

They really need the other person's insurance information because they believe the other person was at fault and they don't have collision insurance (it was an older car). Is it up to the insurance to be doing all this legwork? Are they screwed if the cops lost the report? I can't believe they could be so screwed over here by the cops losing this report. I thought at least the cop would have a carbon copy in his book, but they can't find anything. They have a 3 month old and are desperate. Any advice would help.
posted by ancient star to Law & Government (4 answers total)
This happened to me once where the cops didn't bother to write down the other persons insurance information. But I did have their name and the license plate for their car, so rather than dealing with the red tape I started calling all the major insurance companies to report the accident. I only had to call two or three before I found the right one. You should start with the big obvious ones: State Farm, Farmers, Geico. Good luck.
posted by jeffamaphone at 11:18 AM on December 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

If it's only been a week since the accident, then it is quite likely the report will still turn up - I think it took a month or more to get a copy of the police report when I was in an accident. Your friends would probably benefit from talking to a lawyer who works in this kind of field, who can a) tell them what's likely happening b) chase up the paperwork for them and c) help them deal with the other insurance company when they find them, if necessary. This kind of case would be taken on contingency (maybe 30% of the payout) and an initial consultation should be free with no obligation on either side to at least cover (a).
posted by the agents of KAOS at 11:27 AM on December 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

Definitely get friend's insurance company involved -- because if they're waiting on a rental car or some such, all of that can be set in motion right now even though the details of the accident haven't been ironed out yet.

I was just dealing with something similar in Los Angeles, and my insurance co. rep told me it can sometimes take up to a month (!!!!) before they get the police report. In my case, we got me a rental and repaired my car through my insurance, which then, eventually, got the report, and dealt with the perpetrator's insurance to get paid back. Cost me zero and didn't raise my rates because the other person was 100% at fault.
posted by BlahLaLa at 11:37 AM on December 13, 2017 [2 favorites]

So, the hospital he went to will know the name of any officers he spoke with at the hospital (provided they keep good logs) and the ambulence that brought him there. It's a lead if your having trouble putting pieces together.

Talking to the Trauma Clerk would by far be the easiest way to try and obtain this information but they may be hesitant, going through social work may get you better luck.

Of course hospital policies vary.
posted by AlexiaSky at 8:24 PM on December 13, 2017

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