After an accident, victims may be left in shock, confused, and scared about what to do next. That can lead to costly mistakes, like failing to get proper medical attention, forgetting to get the other driver’s insurance information, and even not calling the police. But a police report is vital to determining liability and ensuring you receive proper compensation for your injuries.
Why Do You Need a Police Report?
Police officers are trained to perform motor vehicle accident investigations, explaining how the accident was caused to who is likely to hold liability. This document is invaluable in demonstrating what caused your injuries, as it holds a lot of weight during negotiations with insurance companies and during a jury trial. In some cases, insurance companies may flat out deny a claim without a police report and refuse to provide coverage.
What Information Is in a Police Report?
An official accident report will contain vital information for your claim, including:
- Date, time, and location of the accident
- Weather and road conditions at the time of the wreck
- Contact information for other drivers, passengers, and witnesses, along with their statements
- Description of any injuries sustained
- Damage caused to all vehicles involved and any other property damage
- A narrative detailing the officer’s opinion of what caused the crash, along with any contributing factors
- Diagrams of the scene of the accident and points of impact for the vehicles involved
- Photos of the accident scene, injuries sustained, and vehicle damage
- Any citations issued by the officer to the drivers involved in the accident
During a car accident claim, this information can clearly outline who was at fault, what injuries were sustained in the accident, how the injuries were caused, and if negligence occurred. While your case may not be based solely on a police report, having the police back your claim is a major step to securing compensation. The additional information in this report may also help you contact witnesses for follow-up questions or provide support for your medical report. Citations also play a major role in proving negligence, as a breathalyzer test or speeding citation can be extremely persuasive if your case goes to court.
When Does the Police Report Come into Play?
The police report concerning your accident can come into play during negotiations and if your case goes to trial. The insurance adjuster will have difficulty dismissing their opinions, especially if they are supported by photos or videos. The officer’s observations and conclusions are also more definitive and reliable than other witnesses when evaluating an accident, though you will still want to utilize all available evidence to build a strong case. In addition, if your case does go to trial, the police report and officer’s testimony can sway the jury’s opinion in your favor. Their authority and expert opinions will ultimately benefit your case and allow you to pursue a higher settlement offer from the at-fault insurance company.
Building a Strong Case
To successfully receive compensation after a car crash, you will want to build a thorough legal argument and collect key pieces of evidence. It can be extremely difficult to do that without the experience, skill, and resources of an attorney. That is why, after receiving medical attention and filing a police report, your next step should be to contact a Boulder car accident attorney.
At the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, our legal team can provide all necessary legal services to ensure you have the best shot at receiving full and proper compensation. That includes reviewing police reports, collecting witness statements, and calculating the costs of the accident, as well as connecting you with qualified medical providers and providing assistance with protecting your credit during this difficult period.
Our lead attorney also has trial experience and is not afraid to go head to head with major insurance companies. Call us today at (303) 665-2929 to schedule a free consultation. We have offices in Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins.