The reports filed by police after a traffic accident play an important role in proving civil liability for injuries and property damage. Find out below how to get an accident report for an insurance claim in Columbus, Ohio.
How can I obtain a copy of the report?
Columbus Division of Police officers must submit all crash reports to the Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS). You can order a crash report from the Crash Reports page of the ODPS website. It is important to note it takes a minimum of seven days before an accident report is available through this portal.
Having the report number is the easiest way to locate your report online, but you can also search the database using information such as the date of the incident, the county or jurisdiction where the wreck occurred, and your last name.
What if I cannot find the report online?
While you should be able to find an accident report on the ODPS website, if you have any issues obtaining your report online, you can request a copy of an accident report by mail or in person by visiting the Columbus Police Headquarters at 120 Marconi Blvd in Columbus. The records department is located on the second floor, and is open Monday through Friday 7 a.m. until 2 p.m. and Saturdays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Should I file an accident report if police did not come to the scene?
Under Ohio law, police only have to come to the scene and file a report in very specific circumstances. This includes:
- When the accident causes an injury that requires medical care
- When a fatality occurs as a result of the accident
- When property damage totals more than $1,000
It is a good idea, however, to file a report and document the accident even if there was no officer on the scene. You can print the report form online or fill it out at the station. Filling this report as soon as possible is vital, because:
- You may not realize your injuries immediately (adrenaline can mask injury pain for days)
- You may find more extensive damage to your car later
- Other involved parties may make false claims
- Negligent parties may admit fault at the scene but later deny liability
Do I need a lawyer?
If you sustained serious injuries in a Columbus car wreck, a car accident lawyer at Bressman Law can help you receive a far settlement from the insurance company. We advocate for victims of car accidents in Ohio. Contact us today at 877-538-1116 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.