Auto Accident Claims: Filing Police Reports
Car accidents are common in the state of California, despite how careful you drive. The frequency of auto accidents for Californians do not lessen how frightening it can be to be involved in a car accident, however. Much less if it is a serious car crash in which you sustained serious injuries for. Even with minimal rear-end vehicle collisions, it is critical that you obtain full documentation about the accident for your own personal protection.
When it comes to auto accidents, police reports can be an important part of ensuring that your rights are protected. There are important aspects, however, that could determine if a police report can be useful when filing a personal injury claim.
If you have been involved in an auto accident, filing a police report after the accident is one of the most essential steps to take in order to protect your rights as a victim. By filing a police report, you will make sure that valuable information is provided to your insurance company as well as help to protect your rights should you select to file a lawsuit for the injuries you have sustained.
If you or someone you know was injured as a result of an auto accident, consider seeking the legal advice of a skilled attorney who has experience in personal injury claims. With the help of an experienced attorney, you could obtain financial compensation for the injuries you sustained.
The Basics of a Police Report after a California Auto Accident
When it comes to auto accidents, the responding officer investigating the scene of the incident generates a police report. A police report is essentially a summary of important information with regards to the auto accident. The police report will generally include both opinions of the responding officer as well as facts related to the incident.
Depending on the location of the accident, you may have to personally contact the local police department in order to file a report. Police officers may not come to an accident even if they are called to the scene due to other events that may require their attention. This can be especially true if the accident you were involved in is considered to be a minor accident. If your accident occurred on a freeway or major roadway, California Highway Patrol may respond and it is important to ask for a report. You can also call CHP dispatch when unsure about who would be the proper law enforcement agency to document your accident.
It is also important to recognize that not every area will require that a police report be filed, therefore, it is important to take the responsibility of filing the report with the corresponding department. Some of the important factors that can be safeguarded by filing a police report may involve, but are not limited to: An injury that may not be visible until days or weeks after the incident, The failure to notice the complete damage to your vehicle, Receiving false claims by the other party involved, The party who is now claiming to be a victim of the incident.
Important Information to Include in a Police Report
It is important to file a police report that is as detailed as possible. If you are waiting for the police to arrive at the scene, take necessary pictures of the scene as well as notes of the accident. Gather the necessary information that can help you remember essential details that you will later provide to the corresponding officer. The following are some important details you will want to include in the police report: A detailed description of your version of events, The amount of passengers in your vehicle as well as the vehicle(s) involved, Your full name and contact information, The other driver’s full name and insurance provider, Names of any bystanders including their contact information, The damages your property has sustained, The injuries you have sustained, The injuries your passages have sustained, The injuries other involved parties have sustained.
Obtaining a Report
Obtaining a police report for your records or for the purpose of filing a personal injury claim can be highly beneficial. In order to obtain a report, you can do so by either requesting one from the corresponding police agency where the report was taken or from your insurance company.
Obtaining a report from the corresponding agency, you will likely need the identification number of the report. If you do not have the number, you can contact the traffic division of the agency and provide them with the time and date of the incident.
Obtaining a report from the law enforcement office will typically cost an out-of-pocket expense. In effort to avoid unnecessary expenses, you can contact your insurance company who may have a copy of the police report. Insurance companies will typically obtain a police report for their own records. It is worth noting, however, that police reports can take several weeks to complete and or become available to the public.
The Contents of a Report
As previously mentioned, a police report can be a fundamental part in ensuring that your personal rights are preserved, therefore, it is vital to ensure that the report represents your version of events as best as possible. When a responding officer is investigating the scene, he or she will speak to the parties involves, inspect the vehicles involved, take necessary photographs, as well as take other notes. The following are other important factors a police report should include: The time and date of the accident, The approximate location of the incident, The contact information of witnesses, Weather and roadway conditions, Lighting conditions of the scene, Statements of witnesses and parties involved, Citations or violations that have occurred, The officer’s opinions with regard to the collision.
It is important to note, however, that if there is a greater emergency in the area, law enforcement agents will not respond to the scene of your accident immediately. This can happen especially in the event that there were no catastrophic injuries sustained from the car accident. If you find yourself in this situation, it is recommended that you do the following:
- Take pictures of the damages your vehicle sustained;
- Take pictures of the other vehicle;
- Document and take pictures of the immediate surrounding areas that could have been part of the accident; and
- Speak with witnesses and document their contact information in case they can help you testify on your behalf.
If you have reason to suspect that the other involved party will file a personal injury suit, it is recommended you immediately seek the help of an experienced auto accident attorney. A qualified personal injury attorney will be able to assist and defend you against frivolous lawsuits.
Protecting Yourself from Lawsuits – Although the accident could have been considerably minor, many drivers will trust that the other involved party will feel the same. A considerable mistake is made when you decide to drive away and shortly thereafter is stunned by a personal injury lawsuit. Once you have left the scene following an auto accident, it is impossible to document all other details of the event. In order to protect yourself from unwarranted claims, contact your local law enforcement agency as soon as the incident has occurred.
After being involved in a car accident, a police report can help you with your insurance claim through a number of methods. This may include, but is not limited to the following ways: Helping to facilitate the claim process with your insurance carrier, a faster payout for your claim, Facilitating details about the incident, providing fundamental information to your attorney and a court should you seek to pursue a lawsuit against the negligent driver.
To further explain, if you have sustained injuries, or even if the other party has claimed deceitful damages, sustaining a police report can support your version of events and ultimately save you from compensating undeserved reparations. If you have reason to believe that you are being wrongly accused of being the perpetrator of a car accident, a qualified attorney can advocate for your rights and seek justice on your behalf.
A Police Report Can Involve Facts and Opinions
Being involved in an auto accident can be a traumatic experience. If you have been the victim of an auto accident, filing a police report can be highly beneficial. As a victim, you will likely face a multitude of medical costs and other expenses. Seek legal support to ensure that your rights are protected as a victim. A qualified attorney can help you receive financial compensation for the injuries you have sustained.
When it comes to a police report, it will have facts of the case, such as the time, date, or location but it can also involve opinions. For this reason, a police report can be weighed differently through different courts or jurisdictions. In effort of ensuring that a police report is utilized in favor of your case, seek the legal guidance of a skilled attorney. As an accident victim, even if the collision occurred as a result of a negligent party, a police report can be used to damage your claim. A proficient attorney will help to ensure that a police report is utilized in your favor as best possible.
The Law Offices of Justin H. King can help ease the stress of filing for a claim for an auto accident to which you were a victim of. Justin H. King is an experienced and knowledgeable attorney who will champion for your rights as a victim and fight for your right to a compensation. You can view contact information for the firm here.
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