How a Police Report Can Help in a Car Accident Case

Police reports are very helpful when filing a claim for a car accident in Maryland. After a car crash occurs, information and photographs of the incident are reported by a local police officer or a county officer which will be in the official report.

The police officer at the scene will also collect information from witnesses and both parties involved in the collision which will also be included in the report.

The law enforcement officer will report any damage that was made to vehicles, barriers, physical injuries endured from the car wreck, and the locations of the positioning of the vehicles. From there, the police officer will use these details to determine who is to blame for the car crash.

If you are involved in an auto accident, you might not know what to do in the days and weeks following the collision. You are going to be shaken up, mad, scared, and possibly injured. Understandably, you might not know where to turn or what to do. It is important to remember that you need to call the local police department, even if the car crash seems minor.

Remember that Maryland is a contributory negligence state, meaning you can not collect any damages if you are even 1% at fault for the accident. It is critical to collect evidence at the accident scene so that you can prove that you are not at fault for the accident at all. You have the right under the Maryland Public Information Act to obtain a copy of the car accident police report, and that police report is going to be crucial in your case.

Learn more about how a car accident police report can help you in a car crash accident case. If you have any questions or need representation from experienced car accident lawyers, the Baltimore Maryland attorneys at the Law Offices of Larry B. Litt can help.

When Must a Police Report Be Filed After a Maryland Auto Accident?

If you are in a car collision with another vehicle in Maryland, you should report the accident to the police. These accidents can be devastating, with significant property damage and injuries.

State law requires that the following auto crashes must be reported to law enforcement:

  • Someone is injured or killed and needs medical treatment
  • It was a hit-and-run accident
  • One of the drivers was under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Vacant vehicles or property were damaged, and you cannot find the owner
  • The at fault driver will not give you their insurance information
  • One of the vehicles needs a tow

The auto wreck should be reported because the police report will provide critical evidence for your personal injury case. In addition, you will likely have severe injuries and vehicle damage after a car accident, so the police will probably come quickly.

What Does the Police Report Contain?

The police report holds the information that is collected and generated by the law enforcement officer on the accident scene. The police officer will collect as many details as possible after the car collision to determine who is to blame for the crash.

Some of the details that will most likely be in the police report are the approximate date and time, information from witnesses, location of the vehicles and damages made, weather conditions, opinions on who is at fault, and statements from the parties involved.

The information that is collected in the police report can either be factual or opinionated. Details like the time, date, and damages made to the vehicles are examples of factual details that is collected at the accident scene.

Fault determinations are typically made by one’s own opinion. Regardless of the information that is collected by the police officer at the accident scene, insurance companies will determine who is at fault for the accident.

How Useful Is the Police Incident Report After a Car Accident?

After most car accidents, a Maryland 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 collision, and it is essential.

Maryland police officers see many car crash accidents and can often determine who caused the accident immediately. However, the insurance adjusters also will make their own reports.
Responding law enforcement will talk to all drivers and passengers and interview any eyewitnesses that are on the scene. The police report or incident report may note weather and traffic conditions and if one of the drivers violated a traffic law or was under the influence.

The police report will also note vehicle damage, property or state damage, skid marks, the crash barrier damage, and details of where the vehicles are positioned. The police incident report also may state who caused the accident, but not necessarily. Sometimes liability is not clear unless the at-fault driver admits fault to the police officer at the scene.

The police report will be necessary in filing a claim against the at fault vehicle’s insurance company. The police report is not admissible in a personal injury case, 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.

Here Are a Few Ways To Obtain the Police Report After a Car Crash

If you did not receive a copy of the police report at the accident scene, 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 accident collision. Your Maryland car crash attorney can assist you if you have any difficulty:

Make a request through the mail

If you want a copy of the police report or incident report sent to you by mail, contact the Central Records Unit. You will need to download a Report Request Form and make a check or money order payable to the Maryland Transportation Authority. You will need to include a self-addressed business envelope with your check or money order. Wait at least seven days until you request the report.

Request via email electronically

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 auto accident.

Make an in-personal visit to the Central Records Unit

You can obtain a copy of the car accident police report in person at the Central Records Unit at the following address between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday to Friday:

Maryland Transportation Authority Police
Attn: Central Records Unit
4330 Broening Highway
Baltimore, Maryland 21222

You also should wait at least seven days after the car collision before requesting the police 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 car accident happened in a local county in Maryland, you could get a copy of the police or incident report at a local police station.


If you have suffered serious injury in an auto accident, call us immediately. The Law Offices of Larry B. Litt is a nationally known Maryland car accident law firm, which is focused exclusively on representing individuals. We do not ever represent insurance companies or corporations. Request a free no obligation consultation today at 443-844-1528. Our office obtains the police report for you. We can discuss what your case is worth and how our lawyers can help maximize the settlement you receive. Our office never closes, we are available 24/7/365.