Injury cases are tricky things. In order to get all the compensation you deserve after you’re hurt by another person, you need to gather all the evidence possible to support your claim. Many people, when they’re involved with what seems at first a minor accident, opt to handle things between the drivers and not involve first responders.
This can be a crucial mistake when the time comes to collect damages for your accident. Learn why when you’re in a car accident, it’s important to call the police and file a report, even if it seems like it’s just a minor fender-bender.
Calling First Responders
After an accident, calling first responders is a good idea for many reasons. First, it allows people to be evaluated for injuries they might not realize they possess, including whiplash or concussion. Second, it requires the police to come and file a report. This report can end up being a crucial piece of evidence to back up your claim in negotiating your case.
Police Reports Outside of Court
Generally speaking, a police report isn’t admissible evidence in a court proceeding. However, the vast majority of accidents are settled outside of court and in these cases, the police report can be crucial in backing up your case. When the time comes for negotiation, you can simply request a copy of the report from the office where it was filed.
In negotiations, these reports are invaluable. They combine with your medical records, photographs of the injury scene, witness reports and other evidence to help you summarize the relevant facts in your demand letter. The report can also be used as leverage in negotiations to make sure you get the best settlement.
In addition, it can provide valuable facts such as the date and time of the incident, weather conditions, witness names and a range of other important facts that you might need to collect. This could provide information you need that enables you to, for example, contact witnesses to testify if need be.
Why Police Reports Aren’t Used in Court
Police reports can’t be used in court, as they are considered hearsay. That is, the police are filing a report based on what they were told by other people. They weren’t actually there to witness the accident. This means it’s generally unreliable as the officer wasn’t sworn in when making the statement, they had no direct knowledge of the incident, and they were speaking outside of court.
Calling a Car Accident Attorney
These reports can be invaluable tools in your car accident case, but only if you have the knowledge and experience to use them properly. In order to get the most out of a police report after your car accident, it’s in your best interest to hire the services of an experienced auto accident personal injury lawyer like those at Parrish DeVaughn.
Our law firm brings decades of combined experience in pursuing injury lawsuits for those who are hurt by others’ negligence and irresponsibility. Give us a call today to learn what we can do to help you.