Car Accident Lawyer
A police report is usually taken by a responding officer at the scene of an accident. While it might seem intimidating, you should never avoid calling police about a significant accident, as their report could be used later as evidence in your claim. Some states have laws that require a police report for a claim to be filed, so you’ll need to know how to obtain a copy of one should you need it. Here’s the basics about crash reports and how to get your own.
What’s in a Report
The police officer(s) who responds to your call will make an assessment of the accident based on several factors. They will also write down basic facts about the crash, such as time and date, location, information on who was involved, damages and weather. Expect the officer to interview you, as well as everyone else involved, in what will become your statement in the report. Never admit guilt during this, just provide the facts as you remember them. The officer will state their opinion of who is at fault for the accident.
What the Report Means for Your Case
A police report can be used to help prove your innocence in a car accident claim. Since the officer will state their opinion based on the facts provided, the report can shine a light on whose insurance can provide compensation. That said, the insurance company may higher their own investigator to inspect your case, and the company does not have to use the police officer’s opinion when deciding who was at fault. However, the report, combined with other information and evidence, can still be useful in supporting your case.
How to Get the Report
After the officer has taken your statement, request a receipt for their report. Wait a few weeks after the accident to give the officer time to complete the report, then contact their office and use the receipt to get a copy of the report. This may cost about $15. You can also ask your insurance agent to see if they have already pulled a copy of the police report, in which case you can ask them for a copy and avoid paying the copy fee.
If you are uncertain whether a crash report can help your case or not, discuss it with a car accident lawyer, like from David & Philpot, PL. Car accident lawyers are knowledgeable about your state laws and can guide you in understanding fault.