When you have an accident all auto accident reports are publicly available because they are what is called “held on public record”. If you want to review a police report of your accident all you have to do is pay a visit to the police station where the police officer who wrote the report is based.
You may be asked to pay a small amount of money and you will be able to look at the report.
It may not be available for some time after the accident as it takes time for the reports to be compiled. It’s important you know the contents of an auto accident report as this could be used as part of the evidence in a personal injury claim if you think you are eligible to file one.
Your attorney will be focusing his or her attention on the report to ensure there is nothing in it that an insurer may constitute ineligibility for filing a personal injury claim.
What is an Auto Accident Record?
A record of your accident is contained in a police report which is written by the officer who is sent to assist you when an auto accident takes place. The auto accident report is typically just a summary of the accident and contains both the facts and the opinion of the police officer allocated the task.
Before the officer leaves the accident scene he or she will hand a receipt to you with the identification number of the police auto accident report.
If you are in a fit enough state after the accident you should note what the investigating official is doing, such as what sort of inspection he or she is carrying out of the vehicles involved, talking to anyone near the accident scene and taking photos.
In summary what you would expect to see in a police report may include:
- approximate time, date and place of the accident;
- contact details for any witnesses;
- the sort of damage was done to the vehicles;
- what the weather was like on the road;
- whether there was any artificial lighting;
- accident diagram;
- statements made by witnesses and other parties who were involved;
- whether any citations were given;
- opinion as to what and who caused the collision.
Here is some more information on how to obtain a police report after an auto accident.
Insurance Companies and Auto Accident Records
Once the relevant insurance company is contacted they will want to look at the police auto accident report. This is because it’s packed with relevant information that could impact on any insurance claims, particularly personal injury claims leveled at the at-fault driver and his or her insurer.
However, if a personal injury claim goes beyond the small claims court and is to be heard in a circuit court or higher there is often some controversy over the relevance of the evidence provided in police records.
This is why it’s important to hire an attorney when filing for compensation through a personal injury claim as he or she will know what evidence is likely to be used and get your case prepared accordingly.
An Attorney and Auto Accident Records
If an auto accident report written by a police officer is to be used as evidence in a personal injury claim then it’s important to involve an attorney who will be sure that the evidence supplied really matches the accident situation.
Take our Free Case Evaluation to speak with a personal injury attorney in your area today.