According to this article, some Ottawa police vehicles are now equipped to process motor vehicle accident report forms electronically. Introduced as a cost saving measure, this initiative is intended to reduce the time police officers spend at the scene of Ottawa motor vehicle accidents.
Currently, the motor vehicle accident reports are prepared by hand. The officer collects all parties’ information, including insurance information, prepares a sketch and notes what charges, if any, are laid. Witness names and contact details are also often included on the form. Drivers of all vehicles involved in the Ottawa accident are supposed to receive a carbon copy of the portion of the form with the insurance details. The balance of the report can be purchased from the police station for approximately $50.
Why is a Motor Vehicle Accident Report Important after an Ottawa Accident?
If you are injured, even slightly, we recommend calling the police to the accident scene. Remember, what feels like a twinge or minor ache moments after the accident, can develop into a serious injury over the next 48 hours. The motor vehicle accident report form prepared by the police is often very useful at documenting the location of the vehicles and other information that is important for determining who caused the accident.
There is also a perception held by insurance companies that if you do not call the police, the motor vehicle accident was not serious. They will wonder how you could be seriously injured when you did not even call the police to the scene.
At the scene, in addition to the motor vehicle accident report form itself, the police officer attending will often interview or get statements from witnesses. These statements are not included in the report itself, but can be obtained by requesting them through access to information processes. When we are retained to help our clients following an accident, we typically request all of this information.
How do I obtain a motor vehicle accident report?
If you are handling your claim on your own, you will want to attend at the police station to request a copy of the report. With a relatively short wait, and approximately $50, you can leave with the full report.
If you hire a personal injury lawyer to represent you in your accident claim, your lawyer will obtain the motor vehicle accident report, as well as the complete police file, for you.
For more information about hiring an Ottawa personal injury lawyer to represent you after a serious motor vehicle accident, contact us at 613 860-4529. We are happy to speak to you about your rights and entitlements without any obligation.