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After you’ve been involved in a traffic accident in Columbus, Ohio, a car accident report is an important document to acquire. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you might be thinking about either filing an insurance claim or filing a lawsuit.
In either case, it’s a good idea to get a copy of your Columbus, Ohio accident report. By having this document, you will be able to produce a key piece of evidence.
Although you can obtain a Columbus crash report on your own, you may still want to consider hiring an attorney. A qualified Ohio car accident attorney can help you get and understand your car accident report. They can then help you determine whether you have a claim.
What Exactly Are Columbus Crash Reports?
Ohio law enforcement agencies use a form called the “OH-1” or “OH-1 Traffic Crash Reports” to record things like car accidents. Unlike some states, there is no law that requires local residents to file their own Columbus, Ohio crash reports.
How to Get Unofficial Columbus Ohio Car Accident Reports from the Ohio Department of Public Safety
Traffic accident reports from Columbus, Ohio, are filed at the Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS).
One way you can acquire your Columbus crash report is by going to the ODPS website and searching their database for Columbus, Ohio accident reports.
If your car accident happened recently, your Columbus crash reports may not be available on the ODPS website. A good rule of thumb is to expect your Columbus police accident report to take up to six weeks to appear on the ODPS website.
Required Information for Unofficial Columbus Ohio Car Accident Reports
You will need to provide some information to acquire your Columbus police accident report. On the ODPS website, you can obtain Columbus police accident reports by providing the crash number and any relevant document numbers. Alternatively, you can provide the following information:
- Last name,
- Crash start date,
- Crash end date,
- The county in which the crash occurred, and
- The law enforcement agency that investigated the crash;
Crash reports are available on ODPS’s website for about five years.
It’s also important to note that the Columbus, Ohio car accident reports that are stored on the ODPS website are not considered official reports. That fact notwithstanding, you can obtain an unofficial Columbus, Ohio car accident report free of charge.
How to Get Official Columbus Ohio Traffic Accident Reports from the City of Columbus
To obtain an official Columbus police accident report, your best bet is to contact the agency that investigated your crash, like the Columbus Police Department or the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Official Columbus, Ohio traffic accident reports can be found on the City of Columbus’s website.
To conduct a search for a Columbus police accident report, you need to submit the following information on the City’s website:
- First name,
- Last name,
- Phone number,
- Report number,
- Vehicle driver’s name, and
- Owner’s name (if different from driver).
The final pieces of information you must include to obtain Columbus police crash reports are the time and location of the crash.
You can obtain either a digital copy or a physical photocopy of the Columbus police department accident report. Digital copies are free of charge, but the fee for a physical photocopy is $.05 per page.
You can pay the photocopy fee by cash, money order, or a certified check made payable to: City of Columbus Treasurer – Police. The address for the Columbus Division of Police’s Records Unit is 120 Marconi Boulevard, Columbus, Ohio 43215.
Keep in mind that personal checks are not accepted.
Need More Information?
Once you’ve obtained your Columbus police department accident report, it’s always a good idea to contact an experienced car accident attorney.
Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you may have to deal with aggressive insurance companies and other third parties who are adverse to your interests. Thankfully, you don’t have to fight these groups alone.
Here at Besinger Law, we can help you stand up for your rights. First, we will work with you to review your case, investigate the accident, and collect the evidence we need to win. We’ll then determine how much your case is worth, negotiate with any and all third parties, and prepare for trial if necessary.