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How Do Police Reports Factor in As Evidence in Your Car Accident Injury Case

Robert Louis Armstrong Personal Injury Attorney Oct. 20, 2017

Anytime you have been in an accident that involves injuries, the police will be called to the scene.

Although there might be citations issued at the scene, after police conclude their investigation of the crash and what caused it, there will also be a police report about the accident.

When Are Police Officers Dispatched to The Scene of A Crash?

In some states, police officers are always dispatched to an accident, even if no one is injured. In other cities and states, however, the following circumstances will bring a police officer to the scene:

  • Passengers, drivers and/or bystanders were injured.

  • The crash is obstructing the flow of traffic.

  • The driver or drivers are suspected of driving while intoxicated.

  • The people involved in the crash are fighting or causing a disruption at the scene.

The first thing you should do if you’re injured in a car accident is call 911. The 911 operator will assess whether paramedics and/or police need to be called.

If you’re injured in a car accident, call 911. The dispatcher will ask you questions about the type and extent of your injuries. If she decides the injuries require paramedics, she will dispatch them to the scene, along with the police.

What Kind of Information Will Officers Gather at The Scene of A Crash?

Some of the information officers will want to know for their report includes:

  • The date, time and place of the crash

  • Statements from witnesses, drivers and passengers

  • The insurance information and personal information of drivers and passengers

  • A written narrative from the investigating officer saying what happened and what caused the accident

  • Other factors that might have contributed to the crash, such as weather conditions or road hazards

  • Detailed descriptions of any property damage that might have happened as a result of the crash — these could also include photos.

  • Descriptions of the vehicles involved — i.e. year, make, model and color

Typically, police reports are finished within five business days after the crash. You can usually get a copy for a nominal fee.

How Does the Police Report Factor Into Your Claim?

Although insurance company claims adjusters will conduct their own investigations — and sometimes they will challenge the findings of the police report — in most cases, the police report is the key document in deciding which party is at fault.

Here’s why:

  • The police officer was at the scene. The insurance adjuster was not.

  • Officers are trained to analyze the crash and all the factors that caused it, particularly which driver was at fault.

  • Police officers generally have more credibility than claims adjusters.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, you need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney to handle your case. Contact Robert Armstrong’s office today.