Whenever a serious auto accident occurs, the police conduct an investigation and file charges against the at-fault driver. At the accident scene, the officers take detailed notes regarding what happened immediately before, during, and after the crash. They can prepare an accident report while at the accident scene or back at the station. If you intend on pursuing a personal injury claim, you will need this report.
Also known as a police report, a motor vehicle accident report is an essential piece of evidence for establishing liability against the at-fault motorist in nearly all types of personal injury vehicle accident lawsuits. The report offers a synopsis or detailed explanation of what happened during the crash and can assist your counsel preparing your legal strategy.
Sometimes, the police don’t get down all the details regarding a crash. While their intentions might be in the right place, mistakes in facts and/or judgment are always possible. Unfortunately, these errors in reporting an auto accident can negatively affect your claim. In such a situation, you may need to consult with accident scene reconstructionist or other experts and conduct examinations of the involved parties to assess credibility and assess findings of liability.
What’s contained in an accident report?
After you or your loved one has sustained injuries following an auto accident, the police should provide you with an accident report that contains the following information:
- Date and time of the collision
- Location of the collision
- Identity details and addresses of all the drivers involved in the collision
- The specific make, model numbers, and the license plate numbers of all vehicles involved in the accident
- All driving license numbers for the drivers involved
- The incident or accident number
- A brief overview of how the crash happened
- The insurer and auto insurance policy numbers for the parties involved
- A list of the specific charges given to the individual responsible for the accident
- Name and badge number of the police officer investigating the accident
- Identity details and the contact information of all witnesses
It may take the investigating police force weeks and sometimes months to disclosure their full report, after conclusion of their investigation or after conclusion of a highway traffic act proceeding involving serious collisions. While these proceedings are underway, a brief report should be disclosed with the details though some relevant information may still redacted. If the at-fault party does not consent to disclosure of the information, your lawyer can bring forth a motion to obtain a Court Order requiring disclosure of the information so that your civil claim can be commenced and moved forward without undue delay.