Burnett Law

Table of Contents

  1. Why Do I Need To Obtain A Tennessee Car Accident Report?
  2. What Information Is Contained In A Tennessee Car Accident Report
  3. Obtaining A Crash Report In Tennessee
  4. Contact Our Experienced Car Accident Attorneys Today

A car accident can be a terrifying and disorienting event. It’s normal to feel shaken and unable to think clearly, especially if you’ve sustained injuries. In such moments, it’s essential to remember that contacting law enforcement and obtaining a crash report in Tennessee should be among your top priorities. 

Neglecting to obtain and diligently keep track of all documentation following a crash can be a serious mistake. Accurate documentation, including police reports, protects your rights after a car accident.

Under Tennessee Code §55-10-106, drivers are to report a car crash if it results in a fatality, injury, or property damage exceeding $50. A police accident report becomes invaluable when seeking compensation after an accident caused by someone else. It contains important information about the incident and provides facts on who is at fault. Since a police report offers an objective record of what occurred during the accident, it can support your account of events and aid in your pursuit of damages.

Upon arrival at the scene, the police will collect essential information about the crash. This may involve interviewing witnesses, recording statements from all drivers, and documenting weather conditions and the extent of vehicle damage. Once the accident report is finalized, you can request a copy of the crash report from the relevant law enforcement agency. You would obtain this report in Tennessee from the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP), a county sheriff’s office, or a city police department.

Your Tennessee car accident attorney will use this report as a foundation for initiating a claim against the responsible party. Through a personal injury lawsuit, you can get financial compensation for various losses, including property damage, medical expenses, future medical treatment, lost wages, emotional distress, pain and suffering, and more. If you have been in a car accident, contact Burnett Law at 931-484-7549 for a free consultation. We are here to guide you in protecting your rights and options for pursuing a claim.

Why Do I Need To Obtain A Tennessee Car Accident Report?

If you were in a minor fender bender, you could get compensation from either your car insurance or the party at fault’s insurance. In such cases, obtaining a police crash report may not seem necessary. However, it is important to note that insurance companies typically require a police accident report as the initial step in assessing and compensating drivers for any damages incurred.

Having a police report readily available can prove to be advantageous even in the case of a minor accident. Its significance becomes essential if you have been in a serious car crash resulting in injuries and substantial damage to your vehicle. In addition to its value in insurance claims, a police report holds weight as admissible evidence in a court of law.

A police report offers the following advantages:

  • Expedites the insurance claims process.
  • It helps in filing a claim with either your insurance company or the insurance provider of the responsible driver.
  • Provides evidence to support your case against the negligent driver in a legal dispute.
  • It helps in determining liability in complex accidents.
  • Safeguards you from potential liability concerns.
  • Confirms your account of the incident.
  • Provides crucial information for accident reconstruction experts.

What Information Is Contained In A Tennessee Car Accident Report

At an accident scene, the investigating officer dedicates significant time to gathering essential information for their comprehensive police report. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, the officer performs several tasks, including:

  • Accurate and detailed statements from the drivers and witnesses provide their perspectives on the events leading up to the accident.
  • Accurate date, time, and specific location of the accident.
  • A comprehensive narrative or description of the incident, providing a clear account of what transpired.
  • A well-drawn diagram depicting the accident scene, including the point of impact between the vehicles involved.
  • Document the prevailing weather conditions at the time of the crash, as it can impact the incident.
  • An assessment of the road conditions at the accident location, considering factors like road surface, signage, or any hazards present.
  • Information regarding any tickets or citations issued to the drivers involved.
  • Complete names and reliable contact information of all drivers, passengers, and witnesses at the scene.
  • A comprehensive description of the injuries sustained by all parties involved, including yourself, other drivers, and passengers.
  • Detailed observations of the vehicle damage, capturing the extent of the physical harm caused to the vehicles.
  • Thoroughly documented photographs and/or videos of the accident scene, injuries suffered, and the resulting property damage.

The final report typically has some or all of the following details:

  • Date and time of the accident.
  • Location of the accident.
  • Identification and contact information of all parties involved.
  • Identification and contact information of witnesses.
  • Assessment of vehicle damage.
  • Documentation of fatalities and injuries.
  • Description of weather and road conditions at the time of the crash.
  • Accounts provided by drivers and witnesses.
  • Identification of traffic law violations and issued citations.
  • Expert opinion regarding the cause of the crash and assessment of fault.

Police report holds significant weight in accident cases due to the neutral stance of police officers. These reports carry more credibility than your account of the incident. If the accident report aligns with your version of events, insurance adjusters are likely to offer a fair settlement. This advantageous position enables your lawyer to negotiate maximum compensation for your injuries.

Also, the accident report is a valuable tool for your attorney to gather additional evidence supporting your claim. For instance, the report may provide a list of witnesses, allowing your legal team to contact them for interviews, thereby strengthening your case.

Furthermore, the accident report serves as a valuable resource for accident reconstruction experts, aiding them in illustrating the sequence of events leading up to the accident. Combining these elements works synergistically to establish a robust claim for damages.

If your case proceeds to trial, the police officer responsible for the report may testify, using the accident report as a reference to refresh their memory of the incident. This further reinforces the significance and reliability of the report in presenting a compelling case.  

Obtaining A Crash Report In Tennessee

Before obtaining a crash report in Tennessee, it is essential to identify the agency responsible for investigating your crash. Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security guidelines say the driver, vehicle owner, passenger, or legal representative can request the crash report.

Depending on whether the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP), local law enforcement, or another agency investigated your accident, you have different options for retrieving the report.

Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP)

If THP investigated your accident, you could obtain a copy of the crash report approximately one week after the crash. To request the report, you must provide specific details, such as the date, county, and names of the drivers involved. Submit the required information to the District Office in the relevant area and include the fee of $4.

Local Law Enforcement Records

If a different law enforcement agency investigated the accident, you must obtain the crash report directly from that agency. Contact the records office of the police department that handled the case for information on the required documentation or fees. You may be able to collect the report in person or have it mailed to you.

Department of Safety

The Department of Safety also provides access to accident reports, depending on the agency involved in the investigation. If THP conducted the investigation, you can purchase a report after 30 days for $4. If another agency handled the case, you must wait 60 days before requesting the report and pay the same fee


An alternative option is to purchase the report online. These reports cost $10. To proceed with this method, you will need to provide the last name, date of the accident, reporting agency, driver’s license number, VIN number, license plate number, or case or tracking number, and any additional details required.

If you are facing challenges obtaining your crash report and need help with your case, Burnett Law is here to provide the support you need. Our experienced attorneys specialize in analyzing car accidents and can help procure copies of your crash report. Contact us now to explore your legal options and receive expert guidance following an accident.

Contact Our Experienced Car Accident Attorneys Today

If you or a loved one have suffered injuries and property damage in an accident caused by someone else, obtaining a crash report in Tennessee becomes essential for your case. A police report strengthens your insurance claim and protects your legal rights. It provides an official account of the accident, enabling us to compile a comprehensive demand for compensation from the insurance company and, if required, proceed with a lawsuit. Even if you believe you may bear some responsibility for the accident, obtaining the police report is essential for your records.

At Burnett Law, we are dedicated to helping car accident victims in Tennessee through the complexities of the legal system and securing fair compensation for their injuries and financial losses. With over 26 years of legal experience in helping the injured, we understand the personal impact of your injury and are committed to supporting you. Let us handle the paperwork and documentation, allowing you to focus on your recovery.

Contact Burnett Law today at 931-484-7549 to schedule a free consultation with one of our compassionate and dedicated attorneys.



Disclaimer: The information contained in this blog or on this website is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any specific subject matter. No person should act or refrain from acting due to any content included in the site without seeking legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from an attorney licensed in the person’s state. The Firm expressly disclaims all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all the contents of this blog or website.

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