MITCHELL LATTOF | August 1, 2020 | Car Accidents
If you’re involved in a car accident in Mobile, Alabama, you will need a copy of the accident report. There are a few different ways to retrieve the report, and most are straightforward and easy. You should have been provided a Mobile police department case number, or a Department of Public Safety number at the scene of the accident. Make sure you keep up with that number because you will need it when requesting the accident report.
The quickest and easiest way to obtain the report is by filling out an online request form with the Mobile Police Department. Enter your case number and the other requested information, along with your payment method and you are done.
If you make the request online, a PDF of the report will be emailed to you within 48 hours of receiving the request. The fee for the report is $10 and will be refunded if your report is unavailable. You should also be aware that a 3% fee will be added if you use a credit card to pay.
Request by Mail
To request the accident report by mail, you will need to print a copy of the crash report request form, fill out the information, include a $15 payment, and mail it to Mobile Police Department Records, 2460 Government Blvd, Mobile, AL 36606. Note that personal checks are not accepted. If requesting the accident report by mail, you will need to provide a cashier’s check, money order, or cash. It is never a good idea to send cash by mail, so purchase a cashier’s check or money order.
Request by Phone
The records department allows requests by phone by calling (334) 242-4241. Have the accident number and your payment information handy when you call. When requested by phone, the fee is $15 per copy.
Accidents That Occur Outside Mobile County
If the accident happened outside of Mobile County, you still have quick and easy options for retrieving a copy of the accident report. As with accidents that occur within Mobile, AL, you will have been given an accident number that you will need to request a copy of the report.
Visit the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency crash reports page and agree to the terms of service. Once you do, you will proceed to a page that asks for information to help identify the correct report. When requesting a PDF copy of the report through this page, note that the fee is $17.00. It is $15.00 for the report and another $2.00 processing fee.
It may take up to ten business days for the report to be available online. Once you place the online requests, you will receive an email with your receipt. The report will remain viewable for seven days after the first time you view the report. You can save the PDF report to your computer for future use.
If you would like to request your accident report in person, you will need to visit the Drivers License Reinstatement Office in the county where the crash occurred. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many offices remain closed or offer limited hours by appointment only. Visit the Alabama Law Enforcement website for the most up-to-date information about the open or closed status and hours of operation before you visit. On the same website, you can also find the physical address of the office you need to visit.
The cost of the report, when requested in person, is $15.00, but there will be a four percent convenience fee added to the total. Personal checks are not accepted, but credit and debit cards, cashier’s checks, money orders, and cash are all acceptable forms of payment.
Reasons You Need a Copy of the Accident Report
The accident report will contain the facts of the accident, as well as the responding officers’ opinion about the cause and contributing factors. Insurance companies that are involved will use it to direct their investigations, and the report can play a significant role in whether or not the insurance company is willing to pay for damages. Information that might be contained in the report includes:
- The insurance information of all involved parties
- Contact information for involved parties and other witnesses
- A rough outline of the damage done to the involved vehicles
- The weather conditions at the time of the accident
- A diagram of the scene of the accident, with markings that show how the accident happened
- A statement from each person involved in the accident
- Violations and citations issued at the scene
The accident report is an essential first step in proving that the accident occurred and proving fault. If you sustained injuries in the accident, the accident report will serve to link your injuries to the accident. If you have trouble obtaining a copy of your accident report, don’t hesitate to reach out to an experienced Mobile personal injury lawyer for help.