If you were injured in an auto accident, you probably had a police officer respond to the accident scene and draw up a police report of the accident. If you were not the at-fault driver in the accident, you might expect the police report to reflect that you were the victim. However, this might not be the case. In some cases, the police officer might not assign fault to anyone in the accident report. In a more frustrating scenario, the police officer might actually state that he thinks you were at fault for the accident. How will this affect your personal injury case?
Here are some things to keep in mind regarding the police report:
The police officer will do his/her best to report the accident accurately. However, the officer was most likely not a witness to the crash. If the officer decides to assign blame in the police report, remember that this claim is only an opinion.
A police officer is not an accident reconstructionist. Some crashes require experts in engineering and biomechanics to determine what really caused the accident and injuries.
The officer has limited time to assess the accident scene. Police officers are public servants, so while they will do their best to accurately report the accident, they cannot spend all day examining the scene.
Car accident reports are generally not admissible as evidence of who should be liable for an accident. Because the officer did not personally witness the accident, the police report is considered hearsay.
From this information, it is clear that a police report cannot be an accurate determinant of who is liable for an accident. However, having the police report on file is still important to your personal injury case. The police report will contain important information about the accident, including:
When and where the accident occurred
Information of each driver
Details about the vehicles involved and the damage to the vehicles
Statements from anyone involved in the crash and witnesses
Any contributing factors to the crash the officer found
How a Personal Injury Attorney can Help
Your personal injury attorney can follow up on the information provided in the police report to help prove that you were not at fault for the accident. For instance, if the at-fault driver’s statement is inconsistent with a witness’s statement, your attorney can challenge the driver’s statement. Your attorney can also do a more thorough investigation of the scene, and bring in experts such as accident reconstructionists if additional help is required.
“The police report might not say who was at fault for the accident, and it might even point the finger at the wrong person. That’s why it is important to work with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help prove your case,” said Attorney Walter Clark, founder of Walter Clark Legal Group.
Our firm has been handling personal injury cases throughout the California Low Desert and
High Desert communities for over 30 years. With a 95% success rate, the California personal injury attorneys at Walter Clark Legal Group will fight to hold those responsible for your loss accountable and win compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you have been injured in an auto accident and want to discuss your legal options, contact us today at (760) 777-7777 for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. We have offices in Indio, Rancho Mirage, Victorville, El Centro, and Yucca Valley, and represent clients through the entire California Low Desert and High Desert communities.
DISCLAIMER: The Walter Clark Legal Group blog is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal or medical advice. References to laws are based on general legal practices and vary by location. Information reported comes from secondary news sources. We do handle these types of cases, but whether or not the individuals and/or loved ones involved in these accidents choose to be represented by a law firm is a personal choice we respect. Should you find any of the information incorrect, we welcome you to contact us with corrections.
Our firm has been handling a variety of personal injury cases throughout the California High Desert communities for over 30 years. Here you will find a personal injury attorney who can help protect your rights and obtain compensation for your injuries.