Police Reports Are Very Important For Car Accident Cases
When the police are called after a car accident, they will arrive on the scene quickly to begin the investigation process. Their findings are documented in an accident report, which can then be used to file an insurance claim, negotiate a settlement, or even win a lawsuit. Even though a police report is technically hearsay, they are very important and useful. Keep reading to learn why:
Documents Important Facts
The primary purpose of documenting an auto accident in a police report is to record important facts and other information surrounding the circumstances of the accident. Also, a police report will include the names and phone numbers of any eye witnesses, so you can contact them in the future to testify in court.
The police accident report format differs by state, with each one having their own official form. But all accident reports typically include the following information:
Date, time, and location of the auto accident
Weather conditions at the time of the crash
Road conditions at the time of the collision
Names, phone numbers, and/or addresses of the drivers, passengers, and pedestrians involved in the accident.
Names, phone numbers, and/or addresses of any eye witnesses
Description of all vehicles involved in the collision
Description of the drivers involved in the crash, including ages and driver's license numbers
Detailed account of the accident, including the events that led up to the collision
Record of any property damage that was sustained
Auto insurance information for all drivers involved in the accident
Helpful When Putting In A Claim On Your Auto Insurance
After a car accident, you should call your insurance company as soon as possible. Dealing with all the questions from your insurance company can be rather nerve-racking. To make the process much easier for you, provide your insurance company with a copy of the police accident report. It's usually not required by your insurance company to provide this report when filing an accident claim, but it provides them with answers to a lot of questions without having to bother you.
The police report also helps the insurance companies decide who was at fault for the collision. The insurance companies will continue to utilize the police report if they decide to defend you or pursue a lawsuit against any of the other parties also involved in the accident. But don't worry. If you end up being involved in a lawsuit due to an auto accident, your accident attorney will help you through the entire process.
Useful During Settlement Negotiations
If you are involved in a lawsuit after being in a car accident, the chances are good that you'll go through settlement negotiations with your attorney. During this time, when tempers and stress levels are at an extreme high, a police report is a valuable reference tool. It helps everyone remember the facts surrounding the accident. The report also provides a record of the collision and the events leading up to it, to help your attorney and the judge better understand how the accident happened and who was at fault.
Please note that although a police accident report is very useful during negotiations, it can't always be used in court because it's sometimes considered to be hearsay. If certain stipulations are met, like if the declarant who signed the report will be testifying at the trial and will subject to cross examination, then a police report is not considered to be hearsay and can be used in court. Basically, hearsay is a statement made outside of court to prove the truth of the matter, and the court doesn't like "he said" and "she said" statements.
Any More Questions?
Now you have a broad understanding of why police reports are very important for car accident cases. Luckily, a police report will be created without you needing to ask for one if you've been involved in an accident. The only thing you have to worry about after being involved in a collision is to call a local accident attorney as soon as possible. He or she has the professional experience and knowledge needed to properly represent you if your case ends up in settlement proceedings or in court.