How Can You Get a Police Report for Your Car Accident Case?
July 13, 2022
You are required to file an insurance claim after a car accident. A police report could be a big help in filing your claim and holding a liable party responsible for causing the accident. When another driver causes an accident, the police report often will reflect that. You can obtain a copy of a police report usually within a few days to a couple of weeks following an accident.
The officer should provide you with contact information so that you can obtain a copy of the police report. Once the report is compiled, you should obtain a copy by speaking with the responding police officer and requesting one by email. You also could stop by the respective police station and obtain a copy.
Why Should You Have a Police Report?
A police report usually will identify the drivers, their vehicles, and the time and place of the accident. The report should include information provided by the involved parties and whether or not any traffic citations were issued at the time of the accident.
The report also will say whether or not drugs or alcohol was a factor and if one or more drivers had been drinking or otherwise under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If one or more drivers were ticketed for a moving violation, that information should be included in the accident report.
The police report only compiles the general facts that are available after the accident. It also should list any witnesses and their statements.
While insurers often rely on police reports to help them determine liability, state courts do not. Courts do not accept police reports as evidence because they mostly are just written forms of hearsay.
When a police officer responds to an accident, it is not to determine fault. The police officer will get statements from both drivers, which might conflict with one another. Because the officer is not investigating the accident, the police report has no probative value in court, but traffic tickets do.
Many police reports contain false information, especially when the at-fault driver has reason to lie. If a negligent driver causes an accident in which you are involved, you might have to go to the emergency room. While you are getting medical treatment, the police could be talking to the at-fault driver. A negligent driver has many reasons to lie about how an accident happened. Those lies easily could be written into the police report.
False Information in Police Reports
The initial police report is not necessarily a finished document. When you spot inaccuracies, you can contact the police officer listed on the report and request the report to be fixed.
The officer should allow you to provide additional information and include it in a revised police report that contains your information. If you can provide evidence backing your side of the story, that also should be included in the revised report.
An experienced car accident lawyer is a great asset when dealing with false information in a police report. Without an accurate police report, an insurer could deny your claim.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer at Nerenberg Law Associates, P.C. Can Help You Collect Strong Evidence for Your Case
If you have been injured in a collision, our Philadelphia car accident lawyer at Nerenberg Law Associates, P.C. can help you collect and review evidence, including your police report. Call us at 215-569-9100 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.