Mar 14th, 2023
Paulozzi Joseph

One of the most important things you can do after being in a car crash in Cleveland, Ohio is to obtain a car accident report (or “crash report.”)  But most people have no idea how to get a copy of this critical document.  Read on to learn why getting an Ohio crash report matters and how to obtain one.

Should I Order a Car Crash Report?

It is in your best interests to order a crash report, especially if you need to file an insurance claim for medical bills or damage to your vehicle.  If you are not the at-fault driver, this could be a crucial document to have, especially if the other driver’s insurance company is not cooperative.

Crash Reports & Insurance Settlements

In many cases, for minor incidents without injury, no crash report is necessary in order to file an insurance claim.  However, many insurance companies do require an Ohio traffic crash report for specific claims before they are willing to pay you a settlement amount.  Accidents that require a crash report typically include:

  • Claims involving major damage to at least one of the vehicles
  • Claims where there are injuries from the accident
  • Claims that involve additional circumstances, such as driver impairment or hazardous road conditions

You will need to contact your own insurance agency to determine whether your Cleveland car accident claim will require a car accident report, although it is always a safe bet to obtain one.

Where Do You Get a Car Accident Report?

There are two ways to get a Cleveland crash report.  You can either go directly to the Ohio Crash System website online, or you can contact the law enforcement agency that investigated the accident, such as the Cleveland Police Department or the Ohio State Highway Patrol.  

Note that an Ohio traffic crash report could take as long as six weeks to appear in the online system.  Some agencies may fail to file the reports in the online system altogether, so if you need the report right away, or you can’t find it online, you should go to the investigative agency to obtain it.

How to Order an Ohio Crash Report

The fastest way to order your Ohio crash report is to go to the investigative agency in person and request a copy, which you can normally take with you that day.  Cleveland police officers are required to submit the reports to the records department within three days of the accident.

It is a good idea to wait a full three days before going to the agency.  This will ensure that the report has been filed with the records department and that you can leave with a copy of the crash report when you arrive at the agency.

Can I Get My Cleveland Car Crash Report Online?

Yes, you can get a Cleveland car crash report online, by going directly to the online Ohio Crash System.  You will need to provide the crash number and document number.  If you don’t have those, you can also search the system by entering all of the information below:

  • Crash date
  • County in which the crash occurred
  • The law enforcement agency that investigated the accident
  • Your last name

Once you have entered all of the required information, you will be able to select the crash report you are looking for and either print it or download it for free.

Do You Have to Pay for a Crash Report?

If you obtain a crash report online, there is no fee to access or print the report.  However, if you get the report from the investigating agency, you will need to pay a copy fee of five cents per page.

How Long Will It Take to Receive Your Crash Report in Ohio?

How long it takes to receive a traffic crash report in Ohio will depend on how you choose to obtain it.  If you contact the investigating agency directly, you could have it within three days of the accident.

If you choose to get your crash report online, it could take up to six weeks before it is available.

A Cleveland Car Accident Attorney Can Help With Your Accident Report

After an Ohio car accident, the last thing you want to do is track down paperwork related to the crash.  A qualified attorney can help you with this process, and may even be willing to obtain the accident report on your behalf.  Some attorneys will even help you file the insurance claim.

If you’ve been in a car accident in Cleveland, Ohio, contact the attorneys at Paulozzi LPA today.  They can walk you through the entire process from accident report to insurance claim and, if necessary, can represent you in court to ensure you obtain an appropriate settlement amount.

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