Police Reports – An Important Step After a Car Wreck

By Mike Allbee

Everyday, thousands of Americans are involved in car wrecks. In the moments after a car wreck, the parties involved are usually filled with adrenaline and mixed emotions. The adrenaline and emotions often prevent the people involved with the wreck from making smart decisions. Failing to have a police officer prepare an accident report is a critical step that car accident victims often overlook during the hectic moments after a car wreck.

If you’ve been injured in a car wreck, you can’t just show up at court and demand that the person who injured you be ordered to compensate you for your injuries, pain, lost wages, or mental anguish. You must prove your case.

There are many ways to prove that a person caused a car wreck. You can have testimony from the parties involved, witnesses, present a certified copy of a police accident report, or have a police officer testify. Testimony from a person who was involved in a car wreck is great, but having testimony from an independent source is typically much better.

Police officers are considered independent witnesses because they don’t have any personal interest in the case. The fact that police officers also have specialized training in determining how car wrecks occur can create an additional level of credibility in the eyes of most jurors. Unfortunately, most police officers respond to so many car wrecks that they can’t keep them straight… unless they prepare an accident report.

Accident reports include information regarding all of the parties involved with the wreck, the type of vehicles involved, the damage the vehicles sustained, whether the parties had a drivers license or insurance, citations that were issued, and a diagram of the scene of the wreck. Most of the time, an accident report will include factors and conditions that the police officer believes were the cause the wreck. These factors can include things such as speeding, following too closely, failing to yield, and not paying attention. If the police officer assigns these types of factors to the other driver, it can be particularly helpful in proving that the other driver was at fault.

So if you find yourself involved in car wreck, do not let the adrenaline or emotions take control of you. Besides taking the obvious steps of seeking medical attention and contacting your attorney, be sure to have a police officer prepare an accident report. The report will be invaluable if the other driver begins to alter their version of what happened, and it will help you prove your case if it goes to trial.

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