Immediately after an accident, a lot of things naturally go into motion. The negligent driver and your insurance company start running for cover. The injured, or the victim starts looking for justice.
Asking for a police report is obviously one of the last things that you’d consider. You would have tried to take pictures of the scene. You would also have tried to see any eyewitnesses who can help in court. But what is a police report and how important is it after an accident?
A police report is generated by an investigating officer. This is likely the one who responded to the request for assistance at the scene of the accident. The police report contains all information regarding the accident. He also shares facts and opinions in the police report. These reports come handy when cases are in court.
The investigating officer talks to people take pictures and inspects vehicles. Here is some information you’ll find on a police report.
- Time of accident. With this, you can tell if the driver was texting and driving, or if he was under the influence.
- Information from witnesses. While you are fighting for safety, the officer keeps a record of all eyewitness These are reports that will be helpful in court.
- The condition of roads and weather. This is also important when filing for damages.
- Information on damages. Was your car hit from the rear? Did the driver swerve off the road and hit civilians? Reports like these will tell if the driver was negligent.
- Diagram of the accident. You’ll also get some sort of understanding of the accident and probable causes.
- As stated earlier, the investigating officer gets to share his opinions. His opinion is powerful. This is especially true if it rhymes with the facts.
Does Your Boston Accident Lawyer Need A Police Report?
Yes, they do. In fact, if you don’t obtain it soon after the accident, they’ll get it before going to court. This is so important that it can be the difference between a won and lost case.
In settlement negotiations, police reports are very important. In some claims courts, litigants can also use police reports as evidence, especially when no other evidence is presented. Sometimes, insurance companies try to ensure that these reports are ruled as hearsay evidence. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a powerful document when negotiating settlements.
How Do You Get A Police Report?
You either pay to get it or go another way which might not require any money. Contact your insurance company’s claims representative to get a police report without paying money. Ask them to send you a report when they get it from the police.
If you wish to pay for one, you could get a receipt from the officer at the scene. This is done before you leave the scene. After getting the receipt, call the traffic division of the agency. You’d pay around $15 administrative fee, and then you’ll get a copy.
Police reports can take some time to be available. First, the investigating officer needs to complete the report. Then the law enforcement agency needs to make the report available.
Let’s now see some FAQs regarding police reports. We’d share answers to these too.
When Should You File A Police Report?
We encourage people to file police reports every time they have a car accident. Even if the damage isn’t life-threatening, report it to the police. This is because of damages that may not be noticeable at the time of the accident.
Does Filing A Police Report Mean You’re Making A Claim?
People sometimes file police reports and decide not to contact insurance companies. In Boston, it’s legally required to report these crashes to the Registry of Motor Vehicles. That is where police reports come in.
You also can’t tell what moves the other person will make when you leave. So when you file a report, you’re staying safe if the other person decides to report lies.
Can They Help When I Have Personal Injuries?
Yes, they can. The police can help deal with third parties. They can also spot potential issues and provide help. When your injuries become known after a day or two, not reporting the incident to the police will make filing a claim harder.
JON SOTO LAW FIRM deals in all auto accident lawsuits. We help you file claims with the police especially when you are not able to do so due to injuries. Our skilled Boston car accident lawyers are always on hand to answer pertinent questions regarding your auto accident cases.