How To Get A Police Report After A Car Accident In Nashville, TN

November 17 2023 | Nashville Car Accident Lawyer Blog
  • How to get a police report after a car accident in Nashville, TN

    If your crash report was filed with the Metro Nashville Police Department, you can obtain a copy of the accident report online from the Central Records Division. You can also obtain a copy of your accident report through the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) if the THP investigated your crash. There is a $10 fee to obtain a report from THP online.

    If you’ve been injured in a crash, our Nashville car accident lawyers can obtain your police report on your behalf. Just give us a call to get your injury claim off to the best possible start.

    Call us today at 800-800-4600

     

     

     

    Table of Contents

    Why should you file a police report after an auto accident in Nashville?

    Can you file a police report after a car accident in Nashville, TN?

    Do I need to file a police report for an accident in Nashville?

    How long do you have to file a police report after a car accident in Nashville?

    What happens if you don’t file a police report after an accident?

    Why is it important to make sure a police report is properly filed after a collision?

    How long does a police report take?

    How to get a Nashville, TN police report online

    How to get a police report from the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP)

    Does a police report say who was at fault?

    Do you need a police report to file an insurance claim in Tennessee?

    What is included in a Nashville car accident report?

    How a Nashville car accident lawyer can help

     

    Why should you file a police report after an auto accident in Nashville?

    If the police don’t arrive at the scene of your car accident, it’s important for you to file a report yourself, and in some cases, it is required under Tennessee law. Doing so allows the accident to be officially documented, which is necessary to file an insurance or personal injury claim in Nashville and Tennessee.

    Additionally, the report serves as a valuable tool for your car accident attorney and can be used to help you recover compensation for damages, including medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and the emotional toll of any pain and suffering you had as a result of someone else’s negligence.

    Can you file a police report after a car accident in Nashville, TN?

    Yes, if the police did not investigate the accident scene, the Metro Nashville Police Department allows you to file your own police report online, however, reports that you may file online are limited to non-injury related crashes, including:

    • Hit & Run on Private Property: When an unknown vehicle collides with your vehicle on private property resulting in minor damage to your vehicle and nobody is injured or requires medical attention, but the driver of the unknown vehicle does not leave their information for you.
    • Multiple Vehicle Crash or Pile-up: When two or more vehicles collide and there is minor damage to the vehicles and nobody is injured or requires medical attention.
    • Single Vehicle Crash: When a vehicle collides with an object that is not another vehicle, such as a mailbox, animal, or lamppost, and there is minor damage to the vehicle and nobody is injured or requires medical attention.

    A minor vehicle crash report in Nashville and Davidson County, which includes the above circumstances, can be filled out if you would like to have the report for your records.

    Do I need to file a police report for an accident in Nashville?

    As of 2024, according to 55.12.104, T.C.A., you must file, or have filed on your behalf, a personal accident report with the Department of Safety:

    • If you were involved in an automobile crash as an owner or driver involving death or injury, or,
    • If damage to property was more than one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500) to any person involved, or,
    • If an accident results in damage to state or local government property more than four hundred dollars ($400). In this situation, this report is required regardless of who was at fault and in addition to any report filed by an investigating officer.

    To submit a report, fill out the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Owner/Operator form (PDF), and send it to the department, following the instructions on the form.

    Before you send, it is a good idea to make an additional copy for your own records.

    Do not send any photos, insurance cards, or any other documents, as they are not accepted and will be shredded and destroyed. Send only the form.

    How long do you have to file a police report after a car accident in Nashville?

    Nashville, TN follows Tennessee state law, which requires individuals to file a collision report within twenty (20) days of the accident if you are involved in a wreck that resulted in property damage of more than fifteen hundred dollars ($1,500), caused personal injury or death to any party, or was not already investigated by police at the scene.

    If it is a serious accident, the police will usually respond to the scene, and if the accident report was filled out by an officer at the scene, you do not need to submit a report on your own. If the police do not come to the scene, and if the crash meets any of the above criteria, or if the crash involved damage to state or government property over $400, you will need to submit a report yourself.

    What happens if you don’t file a police report after an accident?

    In Tennessee, according to Tenn. Code § 55-10-111, not filing a crash report when required to do so may result in the suspension of your driver license and registration, or nonresident operating privileges. In Tennessee it is also considered a Class C misdemeanor to not file a police report when required.

    In addition to some of the legal penalties for not filing a report, it is important to understand that failing to report a car accident can significantly increase your expenses later on if you’ve suffered a personal injury. Also, a Nashville personal injury lawyer will need the collision report in order to file a claim on your behalf.

    Although it’s not the sole factor in determining fault, the report plays a pivotal role in documentation. It is a piece of evidence that strongly impacts the insurance company’s decisions, which can directly impact your ability to pursue a personal injury claim or lawsuit. If you’ve sustained injuries in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, it’s necessary to ensure a police report is filed in order to seek the compensation you rightfully deserve.

    Why is it important to make sure a police report is properly filed after a collision?

    After a crash, and especially after being injured in a collision, make sure that a detailed and accurate report of what happened is submitted through the proper channels. If you documented the crash yourself with photos or video evidence, that evidence will be important, but having an official report that is documented by authorities will help provide a non-bias account of contributing factors, which can help protect you if the other driver attempts to make false claims, or if fault is questioned after the crash by your insurance company. Having a report if you’ve been injured in a hit-and-run accident can also be helpful to document the details of the collision.

    A collision report will help ensure that your version of the events is accounted for. After it has been submitted, a Nashville car accident lawyer can help support your claim by gathering additional evidence on your behalf.

    How long does a police report take?

    A Metro Nashville Police Report will be available 5-7 business days following the crash. A report that was filed with the Tennessee Highway Patrol will be available through the THP district office within 7 business days.

    How to get a Nashville, TN police report online

    To locate your police report, first visit the Nashville Police Report website, or navigate to CRASHDOCS directly. When you arrive on the CRASHDOCS site, you will see “Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, Nashville, TN” at the top of the page and will be prompted to enter information into the form.

    To obtain a police report from the Nashville Police Department, you will need:

    1. Report or Reference Number
    2. Last Name of the Involved Party
    3. Date of the accident

    Nashville metro police report form example

    After you’ve entered this information, click “Search Reports”. If your report is available, you will be able to obtain it after this step.

    How to get a police report from the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP)

    If the Tennessee Highway Patrol investigated the crash, there are a few different ways to obtain a car accident report.

    Online THP Police Report

    To obtain your police report from the Tennessee Highway Patrol online, visit the TN Department of Safety & Homeland Security site. If you choose to go this route, make sure that you can print or save a PDF.

    After you’ve opted to get your crash report online, you will need to:

    1. Verify your involvement in the crash
    2. Enter the Involved Party and Crash Details to locate the report
    3. Submit your payment
    4. Print or save your Crash Report

    The fee for obtaining a crash report online is $10.00. This is a bit more expensive than the other methods, but is also more convenient.

    Go to a THP District Office

    Another option you have is to visit a THP district office. If the crash happened in Nashville or Davidson County, you will visit the Nashville District office at:

    Nashville Highway Patrol Office
    1603 Murfreesboro Rd.
    Nashville, TN 37217
    (615) 741-3181

    Tennessee Highway Patrol Office in Nashville, TN

    Image Source: Google Maps

    Their hours are 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. C.S.T.

    The fee for this method is $4.00 – a bit cheaper than online.

    Request a copy of the police report by mail

    To request a copy of the crash report by mail, there are some additional steps.

    To begin, you will need to print out and complete the Traffic Crash Report form. After you’ve filled out this form, include $4.00 in the form of a cashier’s check, money order, or personal/business check, and mail your request to:

    Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security
    Financial Responsibility Division
    PO BOX 945
    Nashville, TN 37202-0945

    (Make sure to also include a return address for where you want the crash report mailed)

    Does a police report say who was at fault?

    Police reports are the officer’s evaluation of the circumstances, and it does not exclusively determine fault. For example, the report may assume fault, but experienced Nashville car accident lawyers may uncover additional information and evidence to prove fault and determine liability for damages on your behalf.

    Additionally, just because a law enforcement agency completed the report, do not assume it is accurate. Obtain your report and check the detailed report to make sure it is correct.

    Do you need a police report to file an insurance claim in Tennessee?

    Yes. Your policy requires you to file a Tennessee car accident report with the appropriate law enforcement agency in order to file a claim.

    What is included in a Nashville car accident report?

    A police report is impartial and reflects the perspective of a law enforcement officer who is not biased toward determining who is at fault in an auto accident. The report provides an objective view of various aspects of the car collision, including:

    • The location of where the crash occurred (street, highway, or on a Tennessee Interstate)
    • The date and time the auto accident occurred and the report date.
    • The accident report number.
    • The extent of damage to vehicles involved and other property resulting from the accident.
    • The type of accident an nature of the collision (rear-end collision, a sideswipe crash, or a T-bone car accident, etc.)
    • Any apparent injuries sustained by drivers, injured passengers, pedestrians, or others involved.
    • Witness statements and identifying information of witnesses to the crash.
    • Accounts from drivers about their perspective of the accident.
    • Environmental information and road conditions at the time of the accident.
    • Any details that the officer perceives may have caused the crash, including if distracted driving played a role.
    • Other essential facts related to the incident, including if it involved a collision with a commercial truck.

    Obtaining a police report in Nashville is truly valuable, whether you’re the plaintiff or defendant in a car accident case. It’s an official and trusted document that holds weight with everyone involved, including a jury. After a car accident, make sure that you get a copy of the police report. It will be helpful, no matter what steps you need to take next.

    A Nashville car accident lawyer can help

    If you’ve been injured in a car accident, contact Hughes & Coleman today. Our personal injury lawyers can help obtain a copy of your car accident report on your behalf, and can help ensure that you receive the most money possible from the insurance company.

    We offer free case evaluations, and if we don’t obtain a settlement or verdict on your behalf, we don’t get paid.

    CALL TODAY

    800-800-4600

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