After car accidents, police reports are generated so they shed some light on what happened. The reports are rarely admissible in the event that your case goes to court. Even so, police reports are very important in personal injury cases. Philadelphia accident attorneys know how important these are and they will always focus on them, not because of the trial, but because they are very strong for injury claims as you discuss terms with insurance companies.
Always Get Your Copy
A law enforcement agency will come to the scene of the car accident and will prepare a report. This can be highway patrol, the county sheriff, the state police, and so on. All you have to do to get the report of the accident is to contact the non-emergency number of the department.
Someone there will instruct you on what needs to be done to obtain the report. It is also quite useful to have the badge number or name of the officer. After paying a very small fee, you will get the report.
Police Report Uses
The police report will be very useful during settlement negotiations. This is especially the case when referring to car accident cases.
Before you file your injury claim, you need to gather medical records, police reports, and several other records. You can also draft a letter of demand to the insurance company of the party at fault. Only do this if you are comfortable. If not and you have doubts, get the help of a car accident attorney to do it for you. The police report will then be used as a settlement tool.
Police Reports Include Important Facts
The report includes quite a lot of information about the car accident. You can use that during negotiations with insurance companies. Also, it will include details about the incident date, witness names, weather conditions, and several other information about the circumstances of the accident.
Even though it is not allowed to use police report statements in court, informal statements from witnesses can be obtained. These offer leverage during insurance settlement talks.
This is what the official term is when talking about whether or not the police report can be used in a trial. Basically, the report is simply seen as hearsay. It is not admissible evidence, with very few exceptions.
The reason why police reports are hearsay is that police officers were not there when accidents happened. They will make deductions based on what they saw after the collision. Simply put, the report is just the opinion of the officer.
The big problem with the report when it comes to going to court is that it cannot be cross-examined, which is a very important part of the courts. However, this does not mean that the report does not have usability in your injury claim. A skilled car accident attorney is going to use the report’s findings to negotiate better settlements with insurance companies so that you get more money after you were injured. This is what you want at the end of the day, no?