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Dealing With the Police After a Car Accident

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Find out how a police report can impact your car accident claim

Speak to a Premier Attorney who can gather crucial evidence to build your case

After a car accident, it’s very likely you’ll be dealing with the police. The police often arrive at the scene to ensure everyone’s safety, provide assistance, and gather important details about your car accident. This includes information that can benefit your claim and help prove liability.

If you need help navigating your car accident claim, speak to a Premier Attorney. They have in-depth knowledge of police reports and other procedures for building legal claims. To find out how a Premier Attorney can help you, set up your free consultation with one in your area.

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It’s always best practice to call the police after a car accident. When pursuing a car accident claim, there’s always a question about who is liable for causing the collision. When a police officer arrives at the crash scene, they’ll conduct an initial investigation.

During this investigation, an officer will document important crash scene details. That includes:

  • The date, time, and location of the crash.
  • Weather and road conditions.
  • Photos of the crash scene.
  • Statements made by witnesses and parties involved.
  • Citations issued for traffic infractions.
  • Arrests made for aggressive driving, impaired driving, or other illegal acts.
  • A drawing or diagram indicating how the car accident likely occurred.
  • The officer’s statement and opinion of how they think the crash occurred.

There are some situations where you absolutely must call the police, such as:

  • Serious injuries or fatalities.
  • Significant property or structural damage.
  • A hit-and-run incident.
  • Incident involving an impaired driver.
  • A commercial vehicle involved.
  • The other driver behaves aggressively.
  • An uninsured driver is involved.

A police report can be amended or changed after a car accident, but the process and feasibility depend on various factors. If there are factual inaccuracies in the report, such as incorrect personal information, vehicle details, or the date and time of the accident, these can usually be corrected. You would need to provide evidence or documentation to support the correction.

If you believe that the report is missing key information, you can request to add this information. For example, if you were too injured to provide a statement at the scene, you might be able to add your account of the car accident later.

If you disagree with the officer's assessment or conclusions in the report, changing this aspect can be more challenging. Police reports are generally considered the officer's professional opinion based on their investigation. While you can submit your own account or evidence that contradicts the report, altering the officer's written observations and conclusions is less straightforward.

To request a change, you typically need to contact the police department that issued the report. This process may involve submitting a formal request, providing supporting documentation, and possibly attending a meeting or hearing.

Will a personal injury lawyer need my police report?

A personal injury lawyer will typically require your police report if you're pursuing a car accident claim. The report provides an official account of your car accident. It identifies the parties involved and provides statements and contact information of witnesses.

This information sets the stage for a further investigation. For example, an attorney can track down witnesses and interview them for more in-depth details of what they saw. Additionally, an attorney can use the physical details documented in the police report to further reconstruct the crash scene and determine how the car accident occurred.

To obtain a copy of your police report, determine which law enforcement agency responded to the car accident. This could be city police, a county sheriff's office, state police, or highway patrol, depending on where the accident occurred.

Contact the relevant law enforcement agency. This can usually be done in person, by phone, or online. Many departments have specific procedures for requesting car accident reports.

Be prepared to provide specific information to facilitate the request, such as:

  • The date and time of the accident.
  • The location of the accident.
  • The names of the people involved in the accident.
  • Your driver’s license number.
  • The accident report number, if it was provided to you at the scene.
  • Your involvement in the accident (as a driver, passenger, property owner, etc.).

There might be a fee for obtaining a copy of the report. The amount can vary depending on the law enforcement agency. Some jurisdictions or law enforcement agencies offer online services where you can request and download the police report. Check the specific law enforcement agency's website for online request options.

Insurance companies often require a police report to process claims, especially when there's a dispute about who's at fault. Without a police report, it can be more challenging to prove your claim, and you might face delays or denials in receiving compensation.

Without this report, it may be more difficult to prove the other party's liability, which can be particularly problematic in states with at-fault insurance systems. Depending on your state’s requirements, failing to report a car accident can result in legal penalties.

When you consult with a Premier Attorney, you don’t have to go through all the trouble of obtaining the police report. A car accident lawyer in your area can do that for you. Plus, they can gather other key pieces of evidence to strengthen your case.

This evidence will come in handy when it’s time to negotiate for a fair financial settlement. With a Premier Attorney on your side, the insurance companies won’t be able to take advantage of you. They’ll handle all lines of communication and other aspects of your case, so you can focus on your recovery.

It doesn’t cost any money upfront to hire one of our verified attorneys. They work on a contingency fee basis, so you only pay if they successfully obtain compensation on your behalf. Plus, consultations are free. To schedule one, contact a lawyer near you.

Injured? Call Now
Talk to a LAW.COM Premier Attorney today!

Free Evaluation

Tell us about your potential case.

By submitting you agree to our Terms & Privacy Policy.
Injured? Speak to a LAW.COM
Premier Attorney

1-866-828-0442 or Submit Your Case Form