Two drivers in a car collision

Auto Accident Claims: How to Use a Police Report

If you were involved in an auto accident, regardless if you sustained injuries or not, it is imperative that you create a police report with the help of an attending police officer. Basically, the report must contain details of the accident. You are entitled to get a copy of this report as soon as you can because it will be very useful when you file an insurance claim or a lawsuit against the other party liable for the auto accident.

How a Police Report Can Help Your Auto Accident Case

Although a police report will not be considered admissible in court, if your case goes to court, it can be very extremely helpful when negotiating leverage for your claim. Seek the help of an attorney specializing in car accident injury from reliable law firms in Denver, like The Law Offices of John D. Halepaska. During informal discussions regarding the settlement with an insurance company or opposing counsel, you and your lawyer can utilize the information in the police report to get a leg up on issues including:

  • The specific circumstances of the accident such as location, date, time, as well as weather conditions
  • The fault for the accident. For instance, following the accident, the report might contain the attending police officer’s professional observations about the accident such as whose negligent actions caused the accident or which party committed a traffic violation.

Crucial Information on Potential Witnesses

Man taking a picture of a car

Aside from giving you leverage on key issues like the fault and the circumstances surrounding the accident, the police report can also contain vital information on potential witnesses to the accident. At the least, most police reports will contain the names, contact details, and statements of witnesses. Having the witnesses’ contact information and a written record of what they witnessed at the scene of the accident can be an immensely valuable asset when trying to prove or substantiate your claim and demonstrating who is really liable for the accident.

What If the Police Report Has Inaccuracies?

In some instances, a police report might contain inaccurate information. Fortunately, depending on the specific circumstances, particularly the nature of the inaccuracy, you can request to amend the report. For instance, although amending factual errors is pretty much straightforward, trying to amend disputed facts, like who was negligent, is more difficult. With that being said, it is best to check with the local police department to determine what you need to do to amend an inaccuracy. In most cases, it might involve giving an addendum to the report detailing the specific inaccuracy.

After getting into an auto accident and checking yourself for injuries, report the incident to the police so that there will be an official document detailing the accident. Without the report, it can be difficult to determine the liability party, what exactly happened during the accident, and other information pertinent to your case. While a police report might not be admissible in court, your attorney will be able to obtain crucial details that can be used in your auto accident claim or lawsuit. It can also help in supporting your claim and maximizing the compensation you are legally entitled to.

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