When you’ve been in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, the evidence you can collect afterward is important. The more evidence you can bring a car accident attorney, the better chances they have at proving you weren’t liable and that the other driver should pay for all your damages. There are lots of different types of evidence out there, but one of the most common and useful types is a police report.
A police report is really helpful in car accident case because it can:
- Explain who caused the accident: Police officers who respond to a crash scene will often put their opinions in the notes about who caused the crash. At the least, they will usually note any statements from others about the accident’s cause. If a police officer wants to note someone as the liable party but without outright saying as much, it is common practice for them to record the liable party as Party 1 and the victim as Party 2.
- Prove the accident happened: A favorite tactic among liable parties is to try to say the accident didn’t happen at all. If you didn’t take pictures of the crash scene, then they might get away with this trick. That is, they might if you also didn’t call the police. A police report is an irrefutable document that shows when your accident happened and who was involved. It will also describe the severity of the accident, which can validate the severity of your injuries.
- Reveal the other driver’s unsafe driving history: When a police officer arrives on the scene, they will pay attention to both drivers’ mannerisms to see if either is showing signs of intoxication or impairment. This quick assessment could be what begins an entire series of criminal proceedings against that driver, which could reveal a long history of unsafe driving and accidents much like yours. A skilled attorney can use such a history to your case’s advantage.
Most of all, a police report is created by a source that courts and insurance companies consider to be quite credible. If you get a statement from an eyewitness, it is helpful. But the word of a random passerby and the word of an officer who has sworn to uphold the law are not the same.
Do You Need a Police Report?
A police report is very useful after a car accident, but it is not a necessity. You don’t need to have a police report for your claim to be legitimate. The insurance company can’t refute your claim simply because there’s no police report to back it up.
Again, if you can get a police report, then you should. It is a fairly straightforward process that can really benefit your case. But, if you can’t for whatever reason, then it isn’t the end of your case.
You should speak with a local car accident attorney about what happened and what evidence you do have available. They might also be able to conduct an investigation of their own to look for more proof of liability. You could be surprised with how effective a car accident claim you can build without a police report.