For those involved in major car accidents, a usual course of action to pay for damages to their vehicle and their medical bills is filing a personal injury lawsuit. However, like most legal matters, a personal injury lawsuit requires a large amount of evidence, and if you’ve never had to gather evidence before, you may not know where you should start.
Fortunately, if you’re planning on filing a personal injury lawsuit, you can get much of the information you need by requesting the police report from your accident. An accident police report can be a crucial piece of a successful personal injury lawsuit and may help you get the settlement level that you need. Find out why you need to request a police report after a car accident and learn how an injury attorney can help you plan your lawsuit.
If you’ve never requested a police report before, then you might be unaware of how simple the process is. The only thing you need to know is which law enforcement agency responded to your accident and wrote your report, and you can request a copy by phone or over the internet if the responding agency offers online services.
The main benefit of having a copy of your police report is being able to use it during settlement negotiations. After you’ve written your demand letter and have entered settlement negotiations with the other party, a police report that indicated the fault of the other driver can give you the leverage you need to receive a higher level of compensation.
Even if your police report doesn’t indicate fault, it is still very useful, particularly in the planning stages of your lawsuit. Police reports will contain a plethora of information about your accident, including witness contact information, weather conditions at the time of your wreck and details about the accident scene.
While police reports are an important tool when you’re constructing your personal injury lawsuits, the do have one serious drawback: they can’t be used in court.
Many people don’t realize it, but courts consider police reports to be ‘hearsay’, which means the person writing the report wasn’t actually present when the accident took place. This categorizes police reports as inadmissible evidence, preventing your lawyer from referring to your report during a trial.
Although you can’t use the police report itself if your suit makes it to court, you are able to use any evidence you were able to acquire using the police report. Eyewitnesses that you contact based on the information in your police report are eligible to testify in a trial as they saw your accident first hand.
With over 1 Billion in recoveries for our clients, Larry Disparti and the team at Disparti Law Group know how to win. Contact our Chicago o Tampa car accident lawyers today and find out why thousands of our clients say, “Larry Wins!”