How to Find Old Traffic Accident Reports in a Newspaper

By Renee Booker

Newspapers typically include a section on local happenings or local news. Frequently, traffic accidents are reported within the local section. Sometimes, an old article from a newspaper is an excellent source of information if you were a victim in the accident. For instance, the article may include the name of a witness to the accident or provide a description of the other driver or the vehicle in the case of a hit and run. If you have hit a brick wall trying to investigate an accident that happened weeks, months or even years ago, old newspaper articles may provide crucial information.

Gather as much information as possible regarding the accident itself, for instance, the name of anyone involved, the date, the location or the type of vehicle involved. Most newspapers will require you to search archives to find the article you are looking for, so the more information you have the better.

Locate the name of local newspapers. A simple Internet search should turn up the names of any newspapers that report on the city or town where the accident took place.

Contact the newspaper offices or locate the newspapers online. For relatively recent accident reports, you should be able to search the newspaper online by finding the "archives" section of the website. For older accident reports, you may need to search the newspapers' archives or microfilm. When you speak to the newspaper office, ask how far back its online search option goes in order to decide which avenue to take. Keep in mind that you may be required to pay a fee to access older archived articles.

About the Author

Renee Booker has been writing professionally since 2009 and was a practicing attorney for almost 10 years. She has had work published on Gadling, AOL's travel site. Booker holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Ohio State University and a Juris Doctorate from Indiana University School of Law.

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