When you’re in an auto accident, the first thing you should do, no matter how minor it seems, is to call first responders. There’s a number of reasons why you should do this, but among the most important is that when they arrive at an accident, police will have to file a report on what they see and are told.
This information could be vital to pursuing your case down the line, even though it can’t be used as evidence in court. Learn why you need a police report in a car accident and how a personal injury lawyer can help you make the most out of that information as you seek damages.
GATHERING INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR CAR ACCIDENT
The hours and even days following a car accident are bound to be a whirlwind, and when you file your injury suit, you’re going to have to recount a great deal of information which may be a blur and the details could become fuzzier with each passing day.
Having a police report can provide you with important details about the accident, from time and date to the details of the scene and witness reports. It can be a vital tool for getting the facts straight as you deal with lawyers and insurance companies.
Your police report can also include the names of witnesses which can help your attorney to contact people who might have vital insight and testimony to support your case. Witnesses can be extremely important to any injury case, and having their names collected in one place can be invaluable.
Since your police report outlines the events of the accident from all those involved, it can be a great tool for your lawyers in negotiating your settlement. They will play a major role in drafting your initial demand letter and in supporting your version of the story, summarizing the case, and can provide an indication of the other driver’s negligence and fault in the case. In short, used properly an accident report can provide useful leverage.
WHY THEY AREN’T ADMISSIBLE IN COURT
The problem with a police report comes when your case goes to court. In this case, while the events described therein can still form the basis of your case, the report itself can’t be admitted. This is because it’s the police officer reporting on what they have been told—it is, thus, hearsay by not being a first-person report.
When you are involved in a car accident, the first thing to do is make sure you get a police report. Obtaining a copy of this report is usually as simple as contacting the local police department where the report was filed. The next thing you should do is contact a qualified injury attorney for help.
A solid lawyer knows how to stand up to insurance companies and get you the full compensation you deserve. If you find yourself in this situation, turn to the experienced attorneys at Dunnion Law for more information today.