How a Police Report Can Help Your Accident Claim

March 20, 2020 | Car Accidents,Personal Injury

Getting involved in a car accident can be a scary and confusing experience. If you get into a car accident, one of the first steps you can take, after being certain that you or any other party receive immediate medical care, is to call the police and ensure a report is completed. In the state of Indiana, you are required to immediately notify the nearest law enforcement agency of any accident that:

  • causes injury or wrongful death to anyone involved in the accident
  • causes property damage that exceeds $1,000
  • occurs in a city that requires reporting
  • is required to be reported by your insurance company

These requirements make it so that virtually all accidents require reporting to the police. Aside from the legal reporting requirements, making a report is important for your health and well-being. In many cases, a person feels fine in the immediate aftermath of an accident only to have suffered an injury with symptoms that take days or weeks to develop. Even minor accidents can cause serious injuries that limited a person’s ability to work as well as their day-to-day activities. A police report can be a valuable piece of evidence for victims when it comes to insurance settlements or personal injury lawsuits.

What information can a police report provide?

A car accident police report is going to provide valuable information regarding the accident. Police officers have training that allows them to assess vehicle accidents and investigate what caused the incident. The following information could be included in a police report:

  • The date, time, and location of the accident. This information will be necessary for any insurance settlement.
  • Contact information and statements from other drivers, passengers, and eyewitnesses. This information may be used by your attorney so they can speak to any witnesses in a lawsuit against an at-fault party.
  • A description of the injuries the drivers and passengers sustained. This information will be valuable to help prove you were injured at the time of the crash.
  • The officer’s narrative of the details of the accident, including what the officer believed caused the incident. The police officer will note any contributing factors of an at-fault party, such as speeding, talking or texting on the phone, faulty brakes or equipment, and more.
  • A diagram of the car accident scene that shows the point of impact for any vehicles involved.
  • The roadway and weather conditions at the time of the crash.
  • Damages to the vehicles and any property.
  • Pictures of the damages, injuries, and accident scene.
  • Any tickets that a police officer issues to the parties involved.

Why is this information helpful?

The police report will be valuable evidence for your case, beginning with the insurance settlement process. Your attorney (yes, you should certainly have an attorney to help with this) will use the police report as they negotiate a settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier. The police officer is deemed to be an unbiased witness who has no stake in your case. Therefore, the information in the report could be more persuasive than the injured party’s statements or the statements of eyewitnesses. The insurance adjuster for the at-fault party will be less likely to argue about their client’s liability if a police officer has determined who was at fault. Finally, your attorney could call the police officer as a witness in the personal injury trial if necessary to reaffirm what they said in their report.

Contact Fountain Law Firm | Free Consultation

Even if you weren’t able to get your hands on your police report, you still have options. Merry Fountain, our Indianapolis auto accident lawyer can help you file a lawsuit against the negligent party. Our car accident lawyer has years of experience and has won millions for clients. We are available to chat 24/7 and offer no-obligation, free consultations. Give us a call today or fill out an online contact form.