Being involved in a Nashville motor vehicle accident can be a scary and stressful experience. Dealing with the aftermath can make matters feel even more overwhelming.
After an accident, it is important that you request a copy of your formal police report. Doing so can be a great way to gather the evidence and information you will need to pursue compensation as you work toward your recovery.
If you or a loved one has sustained injuries in a Nashville car accident, contact Flora Templeton Stuart today. Our team of experienced Nashville car accident attorneys can provide you with the legal representation you need and deserve and help you fight for your rights at every step along the way.
Nashville Car Accident Reports: An Overview of Tennessee Law
Any time you are in a car accident in Tennessee, it is important to call the police right away to report it.
Tennessee law requires that the operator of a motor vehicle report an accident to the Commissioner of Safety within 20 days of the accident. This includes any motor vehicle accident that results in:
- Death, or
- Personal property damage in excess of $1,500.
Tennessee also requires an accident report where there is damage in excess of $400 to state or local government property.
If for some reason the driver of the vehicle fails or is unable to report the accident, that person must report the accident as soon as he or she learns about it.
Drivers may be tempted to avoid filing a police report in Nashville, TN, after their accident. However, doing so is not only unwise, but also against the law.
If a driver fails to report the accident within 20 days, their license and vehicle registration may be suspended.
Thus, it is imperative that you call the police and report your accident as soon as practicable. Even if you are unsure whether anyone was injured or the extent of any property damage, always err on the side of reporting your accident just in case.
Why an Accident Report Is Important
An accident report is one of the most valuable sources for information about your car accident. Examples of important information that a Nashville accident report will contain include:
- Names, addresses, and contact information of the parties involved;
- Names, contact information, and statements of any eyewitnesses to the accident; and
- The date, time, and location of the car accident.
Additionally, the crash report may include the responding law enforcement officer’s determination of which party was at fault in causing the crash and information about whether citations were issued. If any special circumstances contributed to the crash, those will often be noted in the accident report as well.
All this information can be crucial to your legal claim.
Often, a personal injury accident case will come down to which party was at fault in causing the collision. If you have a copy of the accident report, figuring out who was responsible is much easier.
Once you have the police report, your Nashville accident attorney can help you use it to your advantage as you pursue your legal claims.
Reporting a Car Accident
The easiest way to report your car accident is to call 911.
A report is required regardless of which party was at fault in the accident. So make sure you contact and cooperate with the authorities as soon as practicable after your accident. Although you have up to 20 days under Tennessee law, the sooner you can report the accident, the better.
Frequently, some of the best information for your accident report will be right there at the scene of the collision. If you wait too long, the police may not be able to complete the report as fully as they could have, leaving you with less information to help you pursue your claim.
If you choose not to notify authorities immediately, you can fill out Tennessee’s Owner/Driver Accident Report form and return it by mail.
Who Can Obtain a Copy of a Police Report in Nashville, TN?
Any driver, passenger, or car owner involved in the car accident may request a crash report.
Additionally, a party’s legal representative may obtain a copy of the report on their client’s behalf.
You or your attorney can obtain a copy of the police accident report by contacting the police department that arrived at and worked the accident. This can be a city police department, a county sheriff department or a state police department. You will need to know where the accident happened, the date of the accident and the name of one of the drivers involved in the accident.
If you are uncertain where to begin, contact Flora Templeton Stuart and her team. We have helped thousands of injury clients as they navigate their legal claims. We’d be happy to help you obtain your police report and work with you throughout the rest of the legal claims process.
Methods of Obtaining an Accident Report in Nashville, TN
There are a few ways in which you may obtain an accident report in Nashville, TN. No one method is necessarily better than any other. So choose what works best for you.
If you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team to discuss these options in more detail.
Get Your Nashville Accident Report Online
The procedure for obtaining your accident report will depend on which law enforcement agency you filed your report with.
Typically you will need to provide the date of the crash, the county where the crash occurred, the names of the drivers involved, and payment for the report.
If your accident report was filed with the Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD), you must download and complete an Open Records Request form and email the completed form to MNPD’s Public Records Requests Department.
If your report was filed with the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP), however, you can obtain a copy of your report here.
You must provide your last name, the date of the accident, the reporting agency, and your driver license number. You must also provide one of the following:
- Vehicle identification number (VIN),
- License plate number,
- Case number, or
- Tracking number.
The cost of obtaining your Nashville accident report online is $10.00.
Request Your Report In Person
If your report was filed with the Tennessee Highway Patrol, you can obtain a copy of your report by visiting the THP District Office where your accident occurred in person.
Accident reports are typically available about 7 days after the date of the accident. The fee for obtaining a copy of the accident report in person is $4.00.
Get Your Nashville Accident Report by Mail
You can also request Nashville car accident reports by mail.
To request a copy of your accident report by mail, fill out the Traffic Crash Report Request and mail it to the address provided on the form. You must also send a cashier’s check, money order, or personal/business check for $4.00. Be sure to include the address that you want the accident report mailed to.
However, it is important to note that requesting your Nashville accident report by mail is the slowest method of receiving your report.
Be patient while your request is processed. The Tennessee Department of Transportation asks that you allow two to three weeks to receive your accident report when requesting it by mail.
If you are in a rush and need your report quickly, online or in person might be better options.
Should I Hire a Lawyer After an Accident?
The aftermath of a car accident in Nashville can be extremely stressful. As you work on recovering from your injuries and deal with ever-increasing bills and expenses, it can often feel overwhelming.
Know that you don’t have to handle this process on your own.
An experienced accident attorney can help you evaluate your claim, assess what damages you may be entitled to, and negotiate with opposing parties regarding your claims.
In short, an attorney can be an advocate in your corner who will fight for your rights to get you the compensation you need and deserve.
Get Your Questions Answered
If you have questions about obtaining an accident report in Nashville, TN, we want to help.
With over 40 years of experience, we have the knowledge and resources necessary to represent you. We pride ourselves on the results we are able to achieve, consistently recovering compensation for our clients in over 90% of our personal injury cases.