Why Police Reports Are Beneficial in Car Accident Cases

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Car Accidents Published on April 24, 2020 and updated on March 6, 2022.

report documentationRegardless of how minor or severe your car accident is, it is important to contact the police to investigate the scene and file a police report. A police report will be needed if you choose to make a claim to pursue compensation for any injuries or property damage suffered, including vehicle repairs.

If you have been harmed in a car accident, consult with one of our Maryland car accident lawyers for legal help. Learn more about your rights and potential legal options in a free, no-obligation consultation.

Valuable Information in Police Reports

Police reports can contain helpful information and lead to evidence that could help you and your lawyer prove the cause of the car accident and your injuries – both of which are necessary in order to obtain the compensation you need. Valuable information often found in a police report includes the following:

  • Basic details of the accident – At a minimum, the police report will contain the time, date and location of the car accident.
  • Statements from the driver(s) – The responding offer will speak with you and the other driver to find out what happened and who may be potentially at fault for the car accident.
  • Contact details from all involved parties – The report will include contact information from the other driver, his or her insurance company, and anyone who may have witnessed the crash.
  • Narrative of events – The police report will contain the officer’s narrative of events leading up to and causing the car accident and his or her conclusions on the matter.
  • Injuries and damages suffered – The responding officer will write down the injuries sustained from all involved parties as well as any damages to vehicles or other surrounding property.
  • Weather or road conditions – The report may include important details about the weather or road conditions at the time of the accident that could have caused or contributed to the crash.
  • Pictures and diagrams – Based on the severity of the car accident, the police report could include diagrams and pictures of the accident scene, vehicle damage, skid marks, and injuries.
  • Traffic tickets – The responding officer will include any tickets or citations issued in the report, which could be used as evidence of a driver’s negligence.

How a Police Report Could Help a Case

There are several ways that a police report could help if you are pursuing a claim for compensation:

Negotiating Your Claim

When evaluating a claim, an insurance adjuster will look at the police report and the responding officer’s observations. You and your lawyer could use the police report to help convince the insurance adjuster that the other driver was at fault, which could make it more likely to obtain a favorable settlement.

Other Vital Evidence

Aside from conducting an independent investigation, the police report could help provide your lawyer with other vital evidence, such as additional witnesses to the crash or other potentially liable parties. The police report could even help a reconstruction expert hired to reenact the sequence of events.

Are Police Reports Admissible in Court?

In a court room, a police report is considered hearsay and therefore inadmissible in most cases. Police reports are often inadmissible because the responding officer did not personally observe the accident. Any notes written in a police report are taken from statements from others involved in the crash.

Although police reports generally cannot be used in court because they contain the officer’s opinion of what happened, anyone who may have witnessed the accident may be able to testify at a trial or deposition. Statements may be admissible as evidence if the witness testifies about what he or she saw.

Our Lawyers Are Standing By to Take Your Call

If you need legal help after a car accident, reach out to our legal team at the Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl as soon as possible. Our firm has helped many injury victims pursue maximum compensation to help cover costs related to medical expenses, loss of wages, and pain and suffering.

Our initial consultations are completely free and come with no obligation to hire us. Should you retain our services, there are no fees up front. We only receive payment if you recover compensation.

See how we may be able to help. Call 410-244-7005.