How can a police accident report help you win your case?

How can a police accident report help you win your accident case?

Tarun Sridharan Legal Editor & Attorney Contributor Read Time: 5 minutes

How can a police accident report help you win your accident case?

Have you suffered an injury in an auto accident? While you may be feeling overwhelmed and confused as to what to do after the accident, just know that getting a police accident report is important — the report is a valuable tool that can be used to support your legal claims and help you recover compensation.

Let’s take a closer look at some basics.

Why is it important to have an accident report?

Having a police accident report can make it more likely that you succeed in your lawsuit. In fact, there are a number of good reasons for why it’s important to have an official police accident report — and how it can help you win.

Consider the following:

  • The police accident report serves as an “objective” documentary record of the accident. This is the neutral account of the accident that can be used as a reference point when comparing and contrasting the factual narratives of each party.
  • The police accident report can be useful for the court to determine the fault of each party involved in the accident — this has an impact on liability and damages.
  • It provides documentation that insurers typically require when you submit your claim. Without the police accident report, the insurer may reject or undervalue your claim.
  • And more

Are police reports admissible as evidence?

Yes, police reports are admissible as evidence in your lawsuit. That’s why they’re so important. The information in the police report can be used to affirm your factual narrative (or counter the defendant’s inaccurate narrative).

What information should you give if you are involved in a collision?

If you’re involved in a collision, then this is the following information that will likely be requested for a submission to the DMV (and what law enforcement officers may ask at the scene of the accident):

  • Name and address
  • Vehicle information (i.e., make, model, year, license number, etc.)
  • Insurance policy details
  • Broad overview of damage caused (i.e., injuries, property damage, etc.)

What is the most common cause of a collision?

The most common cause of a collision in the United States is distracted driving. On a daily basis, 1,000 people are injured as a result of distracted driving. Distracted drivers pose a serious threat to others on the road: pedestrians, bikers, passengers, and other drivers. And in today’s world, there are more and more ways for drivers to distract themselves — texting and calling and browsing their phones, for example.

Interestingly, a phone distraction can make it easier to sue and recover damages from the defendant-driver, as you may be able to secure evidence (from their phone records) of calls and texts that were coming through at the time of the accident. If the records show that they were on a call at the time of the accident, for example, then you’d have proof that they were engaged in distracted driving — and were therefore negligent.

What are the 3 follow up steps you should take after a collision?

There are a number of steps you should take after a collision — but let’s focus on three important ones:

  1. Seek immediate medical assistance if necessary
  2. Call law enforcement to ensure that a proper police accident report is made
  3. Contact an attorney before speaking to third-parties (i.e., insurers)

Each of these steps is critical, as failure to take the step can lead to your entire legal claim being undermined. For example, if you delay too much in seeking medical assistance (an emergency), then the defendant can argue that your injuries got worse due to your delay. This lets them argue your damages claim downward.

So don’t avoid them!

Do all accidents show up on your driving record in California?

Yes, ALL accidents show up on your driving record, in California and in other states. If the accident is reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles, then it will be applied to your driving record. From a practical standpoint, however, only accidents that are associated with a police accident report will lead to it being added to your driving record.

How long the accident appears on your driving record varies from state-to-state. In California, an accident will appear for up to three years, after which it will be removed.

If you’ve been injured in an accident, then — besides obtaining a police accident report — you should consider the possibility of a lawsuit. Damages could lead to substantial compensation if the defendant caused your injuries due to their negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct. That being said, lawsuits aren’t always straightforward. You’ll want to work with an experienced attorney who can help guide you through the process.

Contact 1-800-THE-LAW2 to connect to an experienced local attorney in just 10 minutes or less. Our agents will have you answer a few brief questions about your case, and will then put you in touch with a qualified attorney who can provide you a free initial consultation. During this consultation, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss your case in more detail and get some guidance on how best to proceed. There’s no obligation to continue if you decide against it, so there’s really no downside — call in today to get started.

We look forward to assisting you.

Our offices are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so we can assist you no matter when your accident occurs.

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