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How to Get a Copy of Your Accident Report in Tulsa

Posted on: March 22, 2019 by Edwards & Patterson Law

Young woman requesting for police report.

If you get into a car accident in Tulsa, one of the first steps that you should take in the aftermath is to get a copy of your police accident report. If you move ahead with pursuing an insurance claim or, if necessary, a personal injury lawsuit, the police crash report could play a key role in your case. It will contain a wealth of information about the accident and the parties involved in it. It can also serve as a starting point for your lawyer’s independent investigation of the crash.

Here, we discuss how you can obtain a copy of your crash report in Tulsa, and we review the type of information which a report typically provides. If you have any problems with getting a copy of your crash report, an attorney from Edwards & Patterson Law can help you. Please feel free to contact us to learn more and discuss your car accident. Our initial consultations are always free.

Ordering a Copy of Your Crash Report

You can take one of two routes to get a copy of your crash report: You can go directly to the law enforcement agency that responded to your accident, investigated it and prepared the report, or you can order a copy through the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety (DPS). Under Oklahoma law, the law enforcement agency must forward a copy of the report to DPS within 30 days after the date of the collision or within 20 days of the death of a person involved in the collision, whichever comes sooner.

Once the law enforcement agency forwards the report to DPS, a copy will be available immediately through DPS if you are a party who was involved in the crash. A statute, Okla. Stat. tit. 47, § 40-102:2, lists several other people and entities that can also immediately access the report. They include:

  • A legal representative of a party involved in the crash
  • A licensed insurance agent or insurer of a party in the crash
  • Law enforcement agencies
  • Oklahoma Department of Transportation
  • Prosecutors
  • Newspapers and radio and television broadcasters
  • Private investigators employed by a party involved in the crash
  • Health care providers of a party.

If you are not one of those listed in the statute, you must wait 60 days after the accident to obtain a copy of the car accident report.

To get a copy of the report through DPS, you must complete a Records Request and Consent to Release form. The cost is $7 for a copy of the report and $10 for a certified copy. If you order a copy by mail, you must send the form, a self-addressed and stamped envelope and a check or money order to:

Department of Public Safety
Records Management Division
P.O. Box 11415
Oklahoma City, OK 73136-0415

You can also go in person to the DPS building, which is located at 3600 Martin Luther King Avenue in Oklahoma City (at the corner of Martin Luther King Avenue and Northeast 36th Street).

If the Oklahoma Highway Patrol prepared the crash report, then you must go through DPS to get a copy. Otherwise, if a local law enforcement agency prepared the report, you can contact that agency directly and learn how to order a copy. In Tulsa and surrounding areas, those agencies include:

As when you order a report through DPS, you should expect to pay a fee for a copy when you order one through a local law enforcement agency.

What Will an Accident Report Tell You About Your Crash?

The police accident report will provide much information about your crash, including:

  • Basic details – The date, time and location of the accident, the number of vehicles involved in it and whether anyone was injured or killed in the collision. The report will also provide the investigating officer’s name and badge number.
  • Driver information – The name, driver’s license and insurance information for each driver involved in the accident. It will also include the names and contact information for passengers, vehicle owners (if different from the drivers) and witnesses.
  • Contributing factors – Based on the officer’s assessment of the crash scene, the officer will check off boxes on the collision report form which identity contributing factors such as drivers’ actions, traffic violations, distractions, visibility and road conditions.
  • Diagram and remarks – The officer will also draw a diagram that shows the officer’s determination of what happened in the crash. In the last section of the report, the officer will write a narrative summary.

You should carefully review the report and make sure it is correct. If you find any discrepancies in the report or details that do not match your recollection of the accident, you can contact the police officer who completed the report and explains why you think there is an error. It is possible that an addendum to the report can be filed, particularly if an objective fact is incorrect in the original report.

How Can You Use the Police Accident Report?

An experienced personal injury lawyer at Edwards & Patterson Law can review the police accident report with you and assist you in making any corrections to it. We can also use the report to launch our own investigation of your crash in order to determine why it happened and who should be held responsible for it.

If you or a loved one recently was involved in a car accident, contact us right away to get started on your case with a free consultation. If another driver’s negligence caused your accident and injuries, we will fight for maximum compensation for you.

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