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Traffic Crash Report

Traffic Crash Report

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Traffic Crash Report

If you get involved in a car accident, you must follow several steps in processing an insurance claim, as well as filing a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages. From seeking medical attention to contacting an experienced personal injury attorney, you cross off each step on a to-do list to strengthen your case to receive compensation that helps you recover from financial losses. One of the most important steps involved in handling the aftermath of a vehicle collision is to obtain a copy of the formal traffic crash report.

Often called a police report, a traffic crash report represents a legal document that accompanies the information sent with an insurance claim. It also is an important legal document that you send when filing a civil lawsuit. The legal document, which is completed by a law enforcement officer, contains a summary of the information associated with a car accident. Your personal injury attorney requests a copy of a traffic crash report to include with every other document filed with an insurance claim and a civil lawsuit.

For more than 30 years, the team of personal injury attorneys at Morgan and Morgan has helped clients file persuasive insurance claims, as well as civil lawsuits seeking monetary damages. Because of the importance of a traffic crash report, the lawyer assigned to your case from Morgan and Morgan conducts an extensive review of the traffic crash report written for your car accident case. We review the physical evidence listed in the report, as well as speak with the witnesses listed in the legal document. If your attorney discovers a problem with a traffic crash report, you can expect a comprehensive investigation to determine whether the problem should be contested before you submit an insurance claim and a civil lawsuit.

Learn more about the influential nature of a traffic crash report when you meet with one of the car accident attorneys from Morgan and Morgan for a free case evaluation.

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  • What Is a Traffic Crash Report?

    Most car accidents require the presence of at least one law enforcement officer. Only the most minor vehicle collisions, such as a mild-impact fender bender at a local grocery parking lot, should be addressed by just the motorists involved in the accident. A local law enforcement agency conducts an investigation to gather and organize evidence, as well as interview witnesses that provide helpful supporting information for the physical evidence collected at the scene of a collision. Law enforcement officers also help secure the accident scene to protect other motorists from potentially dangerous driving conditions, such as removing debris and prohibiting travel through the immediate area.

    After completing a thorough investigation of the accident scene, one or more officers write up an official report that describes in detail what transpired before, during, and after a vehicle collision. The report includes supporting physical evidence like photographs of the accident scene and images of the damage done to every vehicle involved in the accident. Although a traffic crash report is frequently called a police report, the two reports have one important difference that distinguishes each other. Both reports present evidence and offer a conclusion that assigns fault to one or more parties for causing a car accident. However, law enforcement issues a police report whenever a vehicle collision involves the commission of a crime, while a traffic crash report does not include any information that discusses the commission of a crime. The most common types of crimes associated with a vehicle collision include fleeing the scene of an accident, as well as driving while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.

  • What Does Law Enforcement Include in a Traffic Crash Report?

    Every traffic crash report must include certain information before a law enforcement agency releases the report for processing with an insurance claim and a civil lawsuit. The information submitted in a traffic crash report must be accurate to ensure the authenticity of the report. Your personal injury attorney should see at the top of the report the date, time, and location of the accident. An accurate date, time, and location verify the accident took place. Everyone involved in the incident, including vehicle passengers, submits their name, address, phone number, and other types of contact information for the report to be filed with an insurance company. Driver information such as a license number ensures an insurance claim gets processed in a timely manner as well.

    A diagram of the accident scene shows each vehicle’s movement before, during, and after the collision. The diagram, which is created by a member of the law enforcement forensic team, also should include the movements of pedestrians and a detailed depiction of vehicle damage. Physical evidence that includes accident scene photographs is submitted as separate files with the traffic crash report. The law enforcement officer or officers writing up the report describe in detail the road and weather conditions at the time of the collision. Contact information for every witness allows attorneys and an insurance adjuster to reach out to everyone that saw what happened before, during, and after the accident.

    The author or authors of the traffic crash report cite violations of any state and/or municipal traffic laws. Typically the last section of a traffic crash report, the law enforcement officer or officers writing up the report offer an opinion that describes the cause of the collision, as well as which party or parties should assume legal responsibility for the accident.

  • What Are the Most Common Causes of Vehicle Collisions?

    When the personal injury attorney assigned to your case from Morgan and Morgan reads the traffic crash report, one of the most important sections of the report describes the cause of the accident. Determining the cause of your injuries helps your lawyer present a compelling case for you to receive compensation to recover financial losses.

    Reckless Driving

    Reckless driving involves committing one or more maneuvers that place other parties in harm’s way. Examples of reckless driving include swerving in and out of traffic and passing another vehicle in a no-passing zone. The two most common types of reckless driving are speeding and running a stop sign or red light. The faster a car travels at the time of impact, the more serious the injuries sustained by the victims involved in the crash. Running a red light or stop sign can cause one of the worst types of vehicle collisions, which is a side-impact accident that severely hurts the driver of the car hit by a reckless driver.

    Distracted Driving

    Forty-eight states have passed some form of law that prohibits texting and driving. However, far too many motorists ignore state law and continue to send text messages while operating a motor vehicle. The result of texting and driving is a significant increase in the likelihood of getting involved in a car accident. With attention fully placed on an electronic device held in a hand, quickly reacting to a stationary obstacle or another motor vehicle is just about impossible. Distracted driving also includes eating a meal and talking on a cell phone.

    Driving Under the Influence

    If the law enforcement agency responding to a motor vehicle collision determines driving while under the influence caused a car accident, a traffic crash report turns into a police report because of the commission of a crime. Although driving under the influence is mostly associated with the consumption of alcohol, it also can involve using illegal drugs. Abuse of legally prescribed medications also can produce the circumstances that lead to a motor vehicle collision. Most states have reduced the maximum Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level for defining what is driving under the influence to under .10.

  • How Will a Morgan and Morgan Personal Injury Attorney Help Me?

    Unless you get involved in a minor car accident that does not involve the presence of law enforcement personnel, working with an experienced personal injury lawyer from Morgan and Morgan offers several benefits.

    Complete a Comprehensive Investigation

    Although a law enforcement agency submits an official traffic crash report, your personal injury attorney conducts a separate investigation that includes gathering additional evidence. Perhaps the officer in charge of filing the traffic crash report failed to review traffic camera footage that displays the cause of a car accident, as well as which party should assume fault for causing the collision. The personal lawyer from Morgan and Morgan assigned to your case also reinterviews every witness to determine whether the law enforcement agency that responded to the vehicle collision missed important supporting information.

    File Legal Documents Before Deadlines

    Inside your auto insurance policy, you should find a section that describes how long you have to contact the insurance company after a vehicle accident. You also should read how long you have to file an insurance claim. By working with an experienced personal injury attorney, you can rest assured that you meet every deadline established by your insurance company. If you decide to file a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages, the state where you live imposes a deadline for filing the lawsuit and the supporting documents that accompany the notice to file a lawsuit. Each state has set the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit, with most states establishing the deadline between two and four years. If you fail to file a civil lawsuit before the expiration of the statute of limitations, you can expect the court clerk who processes your paperwork to dismiss the case.

    Negotiate With the Other Party’s Attorney

    Most auto accident lawsuits never reach the trial phase of the litigation process. Instead, the legal representatives of both parties try to negotiate a favorable settlement. The personal injury lawyer assigned to your case from Morgan and Morgan submits an offer, which the other party’s attorney can accept, reject, or send back with a counteroffer. Your attorney accepts or rejects the counteroffer, and a series of counteroffers can occur until both parties agree to settle the lawsuit or take the case to the trial phase of the litigation process. The key to submitting a fair offer involves calculating an accurate value for both economic and non-economic damages.

  • Learn More About the Importance of a Traffic Crash Report

    Experience matters when hiring a personal injury attorney to handle your car accident case. First, your lawyer should understand how to interact with the insurance adjuster processing your claim. Second, an experienced personal injury attorney knows how to submit the most convincing physical evidence to support your insurance claim, as well as a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages. Third, experience is crucial when the time comes to review a traffic crash report.

    Get the legal support you deserve today by scheduling a free case evaluation with one of the experienced personal injury attorneys at Morgan and Morgan.

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Last updated on May 03, 2023

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