How Can a Police Report Be Used as Evidence in My Car Accident Case?

police reports as evidenceWith any serious car accident, law enforcement should be called to the scene to assess the damage and interview everyone involved. The responding officer will prepare a report describing what happened and file it at the local precinct. This paperwork could be a critical piece of evidence in a car accident claim against the responsible party for any injuries sustained, as well as property damage.

If a car accident caused injury to you or a loved one, it is important to contact a skilled car accident lawyer in Sacramento for assistance with your claim. We will explain the importance of the police report and why it may be necessary to help prove your case.

Important Information in a Police Report

Police reports usually start with general information about the accident and include sections detailing a full account of what transpired, which can prove invaluable to your claim. Important information in these reports may include the following:

  • Basics of the accident – The date, time and place where the accident occurred, along with other important details about the crash;
  • Contact details – All relevant contact information of involved parties, including insurance company contacts and witnesses who can corroborate each person’s story or deny that something took place;
  • Drivers’ statements – Interviews obtained by the officer, including admissions of guilt, statements regarding what happened according to each driver and other details;
  • A narrative of the events – A description of events leading to and causing the accident, including the officer’s own final conclusions;
  • Injuries and vehicle damage – A list of all injuries presented at the scene, a description of damage to the vehicles, and observations made by the officer;
  • Diagrams and pictures – Diagrams of the scene and each point of impact along with pictures that depict the severity of the collision, the scene and injuries;
  • Weather and road conditions at the scene – Additional important details about the weather that day and what the road was like during the crash; and/or
  • Traffic tickets – Any citations that were issued for the accident.

How a Police Report Can Help Your Case

The complete police report can corroborate certain details and may increase the strength of your claim. It can also assist you in the following ways:

  • The ability to negotiate a favorable outcome for your claim with the insurance company. An adjuster will generally put more weight on the police report and the officer’s observations than your own personal account of events. 
  • Other evidence may become available and visible when your lawyer conducts an investigation into the accident report information, such as more witnesses, liable parties or road conditions that contributed to the accident.
  • Police testimony may become necessary if the case progresses to the courtroom, and his or her observations can help to convince the judge or jury to rule in your favor.

Are Police Reports Admissible in Court?

A police report is inadmissible in the courtroom if the case progresses through trial, but the officer can testify about the accident and give his or her observations to the judge or jury. In addition, the report may be highly useful in settlement negotiations with the insurance company and may convince the insurer to offer a full settlement.

Contact an Experienced Attorney to Learn More

If you have been in a serious accident, you need an experienced car accident attorney on your side. At The Arnold Law Firm, we will conduct a thorough investigation of the accident to determine liability and relevant factors, such as whether the other driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. We do not charge upfront fees and do not get paid unless you receive compensation.

Contact us today at (916) 777-7777 for a risk-free consultation.