When two or more people are involved in an automobile accident, sometimes they won’t be sure if they want to call the police. They may not be certain if a police report is necessary or legally required, or one of the drivers may be hiding something, such as a suspended or revoked license, expired registration tags, or the fact that they’re driving without insurance.
If you’re ever involved in an auto accident and the other driver is trying to talk you out of calling the police, this is a sign that you should call the police. Even if the accident was minor, and nobody was hurt, save for a minor whiplash injury, you should still err on the side of caution have the police come to the scene and write up a police report.
Here are just a few of the advantages of having a police report:
- It’s guaranteed that you’ll get the other driver’s information (auto insurance, driver’s license number, license plate number, contact information etc.),
- Police reports are very helpful in personal injury negotiations, and
- Police reports provide the attorneys and insurance companies with important facts.
In many car accident cases, especially in ones involving injuries, an ambulance, or local law enforcement agencies, usually a police report will be filed. If you are ever in an accident, you should not hesitate to call 911 so the police can come out to the scene and write a report.
Following the accident, you can contact the law enforcement agency that came to the scene, whether it was a local department, a county sheriff, or the state highway patrol and request a copy of the police report for your records.
Police Reports are Useful During Settlement Negotiations
Insurance companies and personal injury attorneys utilize police reports during settlement negotiations. For instance, when we have an injured client, we’ll gather all of his or her medical records and a copy of the police report before we send a demand letter to the other driver’s insurance company.
The demand letter describes the plaintiff’s (our client) injuries, it summarizes all the important facts of the case, and it supplies a demand for compensation on behalf of our client. When a good police report supplies a lot of facts and indicates that the other driver was to blame for the accident, it’s a great settlement tool and it takes the guesswork out of a claim.
For example, if the police report says that the other driver ran a red light or a stop sign, or if it says that the other driver failed to yield to oncoming traffic, it shows that the other driver was responsible for the accident, so therefore, the information contained in the police report can be very valuable.
In addition to the above, police reports can include important facts, such as witness names and phone numbers, the date and time of the accident, and weather conditions. If the police weren’t called to the scene, often eye witness data would not be available because most drivers are not in the position to chase witnesses down, especially when they’re injured.
If you were injured in a car accident, contact Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law. As proud members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum®, we are 100% dedicated to personal injury law.