Value of Police Report During Determination of Fault

For those that must work to prove fault on the part of the opposing party in a personal injury claim, the possession of a police report can prove quite helpful. Each such report gives the arriving officer’s official account, regarding the reported accident.

Report’s possible contents

It might offer significant details about weather conditions, road conditions or other factors that could have contributed to the likelihood for an accident’s occurrence.

It could include statements that had come from witnesses.

It might include the officer’s opinion, or information on the drivers’ actions. For instance, the arriving officer might mention that one of the drivers was issued a citation, owing to that same driver’s violation of a certain traffic law.

Value of missing contents

The absence of any reference to the issuance of a citation would suggest that neither driver had received a ticket. The absence of any proof of insurance should act as an alert.

Other advantages enjoyed by an accident victim that has secured the copy of a police report

In the absence of someone from the police department, the responsible driver could provide the other motorist with a false ID. Once a story has been shared with someone from the police department, there is a risk to changing that same story. Such changes would introduce an inconsistency. A personal injury lawyer in Watsonville would be certain to zero-in on the existence of such an inconsistency.

Protections available to accident victim, if a copy of the police report has not been obtained

The same victim should contact his or her car insurance company as soon as possible. During that same call, the victim should share whatever contact information he or she had received from the any of the involved drivers.

Victims with access to a cell phone should take pictures there at the scene of the collision. If pictures could not be taken at that location, it would still be possible to arrange for getting photographs of the damaged vehicle. In addition, those same victims should obtain the names and contact numbers for all the involved drivers, and for any witnesses.

Any victim should speak with an attorney. This step protects against both false allegations that might have come from the other driver, as well as the possible consequences of an oversight by the injured victim.

–That same victim might have failed to learn the deadline for initiating a personal injury lawsuit, as stated in the statute of limitations.
–Sometimes, too an adult driver might have been providing a minor with transportation. In that case, the same minor should undergo an examination from a physician, even if he or she had no visible injuries.

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