In Iowa, the police investigate car accidents that result in an injury, in a fatality, or in an estimated $1,500 or more in property damage. If you have been injured in a car accident, then the officer investigating your crash should file an accident report.
And You Have the Right to Get a Copy of That Report
You may be able to get the car accident report from the local police department in the municipality where your crash occurred. For example, if you were hurt on a local road in Des Moines, then you could go to the police station located at 25 East First Street between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and request a copy of your report. Alternatively, you could request a copy of your report online or via the mail.
You may also request a copy of your police accident report from the Iowa Department of Transportation. In order to get a copy of your report in this manner, you should make a written request that includes the date, time and location of the accident and the names and drivers’ license numbers of the drivers involved in the accident. Iowa allows any party to an accident, the attorney of any party, the insurer of any party, or the insurance agent of any party to access car accident reports. You will be asked how you qualify for a report and for a nominal fee before you can access the report. All of this information is included on the Iowa Department of Transportation Form 431007, which you fill out to request your copy of your accident report if you’ve been hurt.
Why Car Accident Reports Are Important
Car accident reports are not always definitive. However, you do need to know what they say. They can provide important insight into your accident and help your attorney make persuasive arguments, find the right evidence, or prepare for the defense’s arguments. Accordingly, we encourage anyone who has been hurt in an Iowa car crash to request his or her own copy of the police report as soon as it is ready.