The Role of Police Reports in Car Accident Cases
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Wondering how police reports are used in car accident cases? Read on to find out more about how they could change everything!
Property damages and personal injuries often are due to automobile accidents in the United States. When they happen, everyone who was involved should protect their safety and document the damages they incurred. A police report can be helpful in making that happen.
Filing a Police Report After an Auto Accident
Police reports are typically a sensible thing to do following a car accident. Even when the damage and injuries are not catastrophic, reporting the accident is done as a precaution. This way, the circumstances surrounding the accident and the damages it caused are all officially documented.
What an Automobile Accident Police Report Contains
The details of the car accident are documented in a police report. This report can then be relied upon for valuable evidence when insurance companies or the court need to understand what happened. All experienced accident attorneys agree that police reports can be instrumental in demonstrating liability.
Insurance companies can be more clear on what happened and how to offer an adequate settlement. If the insurance companies still refuse to settle appropriately, your car accident injury attorney will have ammunition to use against them when negotiating a more fair settlement.
Information that is contained in police reports is as follows:
- The names of the people involved in the accident
- Contact information of those involved
- Addresses of the people who were in the auto accident
- The make and models of the vehicles involved
- License plate information
- The insurance information of the involved parties
- Any witness statements that are taken at the scene
- Contact information for witnesses
- Notes about weather conditions
- Road condition comments
- Notes about other contributing factors that might be helpful when understanding what happened in the accident.
- Law enforcement’s review of events and who they believe caused the wreck.
- Photographs of the scene of the accident and footage obtained from traffic cameras in the area.
Police Reports Can Be Useful in Car Accident Claims
Police reports serve as documentation of what happened in the car accident. The details about the accident, the liable party, witness information, road conditions, weather conditions, and driver negligence all play a role in determining driver negligence. Accident reports will contain diagrams of the accident and photographs of the damage.
Insurance companies lean heavily on this information when determining liability. Having these details on hand can be particularly helpful if there are questions about the responsible party in an accident. Details are outlined in an official report lending accuracy to the claim. Insurance companies are less likely to dispute claims when there is a police report detailing what happened.
If you are in a car accident, obtain a copy of law enforcement’s auto accident report so that you can refer to it as needed. If a dispute arises, a copy of the police report may be a helpful item when mediating disagreements.
Filing a Police Report Following a Car Crash
To file an accurate car accident incident report with law enforcement is to protect yourself and your passengers. Gather this important paperwork and evidence when filing a report:
- Driver’s license
- Insurance information for all drivers
- Witness statements of those who were involved in or saw the accident
- Photographs and videos of the scene of the accident, which include road conditions, property damages, injuries, and weather conditions.
- Police report numbers and tickets that were issued due to the accident
Details and accuracy matter, so provide as much information as possible for the police report. Include information about property damage, injuries, participants, and other helpful details that paint an accurate picture of what happened.
Once the evidence is gathered, submit it to your local law enforcement agency to be filed. If an officer was at the scene of the accident, request a copy of their official report. Make sure that you have copies of the accident report stored for safekeeping in case it is needed later for insurance negotiations or lawsuits.