If you were in a serious car accident in Michigan, it’s likely that a police report was filed. Under MCL 257.622, you must file a report if the crash resulted in death, injury, or property damage totaling $1,000 or more. While this document serves as an official record of the collision, it also contains information that can support your insurance or personal injury claim.

At LegalGenius, PLLC, our car accident lawyers have helped many clients secure maximum compensation after filing an injury claim, and police reports have been key evidence in most cases. In this blog, we explain why you need a Michigan car accident police report, how to get one, and how a personal injury lawyer can help.

Why You Need a Police Report

Filing a police report after a Michigan car accident is important for several reasons. For one, many insurance companies require a police report before opening a No-Fault insurance claim. This report is essential for accessing No-Fault Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits, which can cover lost wages and medical bills. 

The police report also serves as an official record of the accident. It includes crucial details such as the parties involved, the circumstances of the crash, and any citations issued. This information is vital if you need to file a lawsuit or make an injury claim against the at-fault driver for pain and suffering compensation.

Other reasons why you may need your Michigan car accident police report include:

  • In hit-and-run cases, many auto insurance companies mandate that you make a written report to the police within 24 hours to qualify for uninsured and underinsured motorist benefits, as well as collision and comprehensive coverage. 
  • To claim Michigan No-Fault benefits after a car accident, you may need to submit a police report as part of your proof of loss documentation. This is necessary when filing an application for benefits with your auto insurer or with the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan.
  • If you intend to file a mini tort claim (which allows vehicle owners to collect up to $3,000 for property damage from an at-fault driver) a crash report will show that an accident occurred and the other driver was at fault.

Having a copy of the report also enables your Michigan car accident lawyer to comply with your insurer’s notice provisions. They will be able to promptly file your injury claim or lawsuit and comply with any contract filing requirements in your uninsured motorist (UM), underinsured motorist (UIM), health insurance, and umbrella coverage policies.

What’s in a Michigan Car Accident Police Report?

A Michigan UD-10 Traffic Crash Report includes important details that help establish what caused and/or contributed to the accident. They include:

  • Names and Contact Information of Drivers: The report lists the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all drivers involved in the accident. This information is essential for insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits.
  • Insurance Information for All Parties: Details about each driver’s insurance coverage are included (unless a driver fled the scene), which helps in processing claims and determining liability.
  • Identification of the At-Fault Driver: The report often indicates which driver the police believe is responsible for the accident. 
  • Names and Contact Information of Witnesses: Witnesses’ names and contact details are documented, allowing you to obtain testimonies that can support your case.
  • Date and Time of the Accident: The specific date and time when the accident occurred are recorded, establishing a clear timeline of events.
  • Diagrams and Narratives About the Accident: The report typically includes diagrams showing the positions of the vehicles and a narrative description of how the accident happened. These visuals and descriptions help clarify the sequence of events.
  • Types of Injuries and Property Damage Sustained: Information about any injuries and the extent of property damage is documented. This is important for claims and potential compensation.
  • Road Type, Road Condition, and Weather Conditions: Details about the road type (e.g., highway, street), its condition (e.g., wet, icy), and the weather at the time of the accident are included. These factors can influence the determination of fault.
  • Officer’s Opinions as to How the Crash Occurred: The responding officer’s assessment of how the accident happened, based on their observations and the evidence at the scene, is also part of the report.

All of this information can serve as important evidence for a future claim, so when you receive a copy of your accident report, make sure you thoroughly review it for accuracy. Any errors could compromise your chance at compensation, so address any discrepancies as soon as possible,

Steps to Obtain a Michigan Car Accident Police Report

A police report, known as the UD-10 Traffic Crash Report, can be requested from either the Michigan State Police or the local police department that investigated the accident. 

Requesting a UD-10 Traffic Crash Report from the Michigan State Police:

  • Visit the Michigan State Police website and look for the “Traffic Crash Reports” link under the ‘Services’ section.
  • If you haven’t already, you’ll need to register to access the system that handles traffic crash reports.  
  • Click on the ‘Search’ link at the top of the page.
  • Fill out the form with the necessary details about the accident, such as the date, location, and any other required information.  There is a fee for obtaining the report, which you can pay online as part of the request process.

Requesting a UD-10 Traffic Crash Report from a Local Police Department

  • Reach out to the records clerk at the local police department that handled the accident.
  • Ask the clerk about their Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) policies related to Traffic Crash Reports. Each local department may have different procedures for FOIA requests.
  • The clerk will provide you with instructions on how to request the report under their FOIA policy. This typically involves filling out a request form and possibly paying a fee.

How Can a Michigan Car Accident Attorney Help?

Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be difficult, especially if you’re trying to recover from catastrophic injuries. A Michigan car accident lawyer can help you obtain a copy of your crash report and file an insurance or personal injury claim, giving you peace of mind and allowing you to focus on recovering.

An experienced attorney knows the procedures for requesting a UD-10 Traffic Crash Report from both the Michigan State Police and local police departments. They can handle the entire request process on your behalf and review the crash report for accuracy and completeness. If there are any errors or missing information, they can take steps to have the report corrected. This is critical, as inaccuracies can impact your insurance claim and any potential legal action.

Your lawyer can also help you better understand your auto insurance policy and what benefits you are entitled to under Michigan’s No-Fault insurance laws. They will assist with gathering and submitting all necessary documentation, including the crash report, medical records, and proof of loss. Once everything is received by the insurer, they can negotiate on your behalf to ensure you receive fair compensation. 

Other benefits of hiring a lawyer for your personal injury claim include:

  • Help Filing Your Claim: If you need to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver, an attorney can help build a strong case. This includes collecting evidence, such as the crash report, witness statements, medical records, and any other relevant documentation.
  • Representing You in Legal Proceedings: An attorney can represent you in negotiations and, if necessary, in court. They can present your case effectively, aiming to secure compensation for your pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical expenses.

By working with a Michigan car accident attorney, you can ensure that all aspects of obtaining your crash report and filing claims are handled professionally and efficiently. This allows you to focus on your recovery while your attorney manages the legal and administrative tasks involved.

Questions? Speak to a Michigan Car Accident Lawyer

When you’ve been injured in a car accident, obtaining a police report and filing an insurance or personal injury claim are crucial steps toward resolution. A Michigan car accident attorney can simplify this process, ensuring that all necessary documentation is accurate and complete while advocating for your rights.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident and need assistance, reach out to LegalGenius, PLLC. Our legal team can help you obtain your crash report, successfully file your claims, and pursue the compensation you deserve. For more information or to schedule your free consultation, fill out our Ask the Genius™ form or call (800) 209-4000 today.