How To Get A Car Accident Report

You do not have to be a victim of a car accident to have heard the term police report.  Similarly, you may have heard of one but may be unsure or know what one is.

In a nutshell, it is a report filled out by law enforcementat the scene of a car accident that provides the known details of the accident.  Those details may include statements from the individuals involved in the car accident, statements from any bystanders, and other relevant information.

In the realm of law, the accident report is given significant weight.  Especially if the information contained within the report indicates which driver was at fault, for this reason, the filed police report plays a crucial role in the car accident claim and possible lawsuit.

Car Accident Report

When referring to a car accident, a report filed by the responding law enforcement is simply a document that is written and created at the crash scene.   The contents of the report will typically include:

-         Details of the incident, such as the individuals, vehicles, or personal property that are involved

-         Any statements obtained by the individuals involved, any passengers, and statements of any bystanders or witnesses

-         A diagram detailing the scene may include the accident's location, the path the vehicles involved took, and the point at which the collision took place.

-         In some instances, the report will also include any findings or personal conclusions that the responding officer may find pertinent.

How To Obtain The Report

As stated above, the police report is created by the officer that responds to the scene of the accident. The report is a summary containing details relating to the car accident, as well as any opinions or conclusions of the responding officer.

When looking to obtain a copy of the police report, you have two ways to go about this.  The first will involve a cost, whereas the other method does not.  You will, in either case, need to contact the responding office that created the report and request a copy.

In most cases, before leaving the scene of the accident, the investigating officer will provide you with a receipt with a corresponding number for use in identifying the report. You will then need to contact the traffic division of the responding agency and provide the administration fee, and you should be able to obtain a copy of the report then.

Suppose the investigating officer did not provide you with an identification number for the report? In this case, you will need to provide your name along with specific details such as the location of the accident and the date and time that the accident occurred.  You also have the option to request a free copy of the accident report from the insurance adjuster in charge of your claim.

Admissibility Of Police Reports

Although using police reports is quite common during a claim's negotiation and settlement phases regarding admissibility in a legal court of law, using the same report in a lawsuit is not assumed.  When entering into small claims court cases,the report is permitted, allowing both sides the use of the report to explain the events of the accident.  However, in higher courts, the report will be held to evidentiary rules and will need to be determined if it falls into the leagl arena of hearsay.  If deemed legally as hearsay, it could be unusable and considered a statement made outside of the court pervy.

After The Accident

Keep in mind that the contents of a police report can have a profound effect on both an insurance claim and the filing of a lawsuit on two key issues:

-         Which individual was determined to be at fault for the accident

-         The amount of compensation that the party at fault is legally liable for

Do not assume that the police report will prove helpful to your side of the claim.  If the other side decides to dig in and prepare for a fight, your most crucial tool will be that of your choice of a personal injury attorney.

The Bryant Law Firm has helped thousands of injury victims in the Greater Houston Area and all across Texas.  Let David A. Bryant, Jr. help you get the appropriate medical treatment and compensation you deserve.

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