There’s a lot to keep track of after a traffic accident, especially if you were injured. Maintaining a paper trail of all of your expenses and experiences is essential to receiving the compensation you deserve.
But how do you keep it all straight? And how do you prove that what you’re claiming is true?
There are many ways to do this, and the very first thing you should do is obtain a copy of the police report immediately after an accident. This is beneficial for many reasons and in many different scenarios.Minor accidents might seem like they don’t require the attention of the police, but this is wrong. You should obtain a police report for every accident. But what is a police report? And how can it help you and your accident attorney after an accident?
The Police Report
The police should be called after every traffic accident. They provide many useful services that are essential to everyone safely navigating the aftermath. A police officer will first make sure everyone is okay. And if not, they will facilitate a means of getting help.
Car accidents will often result in two (or more) vehicles that are unable to move. Surrounding traffic will need to be directed and the damaged vehicles will need to be removed. The police can help with both of these considerations as well.
But the most important aspect of a police officer’s help after an accident is documentation. The officer will speak with everyone involved in the accident as well as any witnesses. They will compile this information in an effort to determine what caused the accident as well as the results of it. This is what’s known as the police report.
What’s In It?
The police report is a combination of incontrovertible facts relating to the accident as well as determinations resulting from opinions of the responding officer.
Facts can be things such as the date, time, and location of the accident. Names, addresses, and contact information will be collected from everyone involved, including witnesses. The officer will also document damage to the vehicles, conditions of the roadway and surrounding area, and might even sketch a diagram of the accident. Any injuries will be recorded.
One important determination that comes as a result of the opinion of the officer relates to who is at fault for the accident. The officer will use all of the above information as they consider this. This determination is not set in stone, however, as it is the opinion of the responding officer. Insurance companies will perform their own investigation and assign fault as they see fit.
How to Obtain It
The responding officer will typically give a receipt of the police report to the parties involved in an accident. An identification number will be listed on this receipt which can be used to obtain a copy of the full report. All you have to do is contact the traffic division of the local law enforcement agency and use this identification number to request a copy of the police report. There is usually an administrative fee that accompanies this request.
You can still get a copy of the police report if you don’t have this identification number. The traffic division can usually still find your report if you give them the time, date, and location of the accident along with your name.
Your insurance company will also request a copy of the police report. You can ask them for a copy of the report once they receive it which will most likely save you the administrative fee.
How It Helps
This detailed report can help those involved in an accident in a few different ways. Claims don’t need to be elevated to the point of needing an accident attorney in order for a police report to be helpful. However, elevated claims can benefit from the report as well.
Insurance companies place a heavy importance on police reports when making their determinations of a claim. However, as we said earlier, insurance companies will perform their own investigation which could come to a different conclusion regarding fault. An accident attorney can then use the police report to disprove any contradictory findings by the insurance company.
Car accident attorneys in Tennessee and Kentucky will occasionally take claims issues to court. The police report can often be permitted as evidence in these cases. Both the plaintiff and the defendant are typically allowed to use the police report to describe the events that led up to the crash as well as the results of it.
Call an Accident Attorney in Tennessee and Kentucky
Bart Durham Injury Law has been helping people in Kentucky and the Nashville, Tennessee area get the compensation they deserve for decades. Have you been in an accident? Do you have questions about how things are progressing with the insurance companies?