What Is a Car Accident Report?
What Is a Car Accident Report?
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What Is a Car Accident Report?
After a vehicle collision, victims have several thoughts racing through their minds. First, they have to take care of any injuries by seeking medical care. Second, they should contact the nearest law enforcement agency to secure the scene of an accident, as well as conduct a comprehensive investigation that determines the cause of the crash. Getting a law enforcement agency involved in an auto crash leads to the submission of a car accident report.
What is a car accident report? A car accident report presents the details of a vehicle collision, such as the date, time, and location of the incident. One of the most important sections of a car accident report describes what took place before, during, and after a crash. Attorneys representing all parties involved in a vehicle collision refer to a car accident report to determine whether to take legal action that seeks just compensation.
If you sustained one or more injuries as a result of a car accident, working with an experienced personal injury attorney can help you better understand what a car accident report is. Your lawyer requests a copy of the official police report to decide how to proceed with your case. An official police report typically acts as the car accident report that attorneys and insurance adjusters review to determine the value of compensation. However, some auto crashes do not include an official police report, which means the parties involved in the incident must create their own car accident reports.
For more than 30 years, the personal injury attorneys at Morgan and Morgan have helped clients understand the importance of obtaining a copy of an official car accident report. With an incident report providing the information required to determine whether to file a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages, our personal injury lawyers make obtaining a copy of a car accident report a priority when handling cases for clients. Our diligence since 1988 has resulted in the recovery of more than $14 billion in monetary damages for personal injury cases,
Discover what is a car accident report and why it is important to obtain a copy of one by scheduling a free case evaluation today with one of the experienced personal injury attorneys at Morgan and Morgan.
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Why Is It Important to Acquire a Copy of a Car Accident Report?
One of the legal services provided by a personal injury attorney at Morgan and Morgan after an auto crash is to determine the cause of the incident. The official police report contains attachments that present physical evidence, such as photos taken of the accident scene and a link that uploads video camera footage shot by a traffic camera. Personal injury attorneys examine the physical evidence to decide how to proceed with a car accident case. The information presented in a car accident report also represents an important part of the process of filing an insurance claim. The insurance adjuster reviewing a claim places considerable emphasis on the information presented in the official vehicle collision report.
Without an official police report, the parties involved in a car accident case rely on the evidence gathered and organized by each party to determine the outcome of an insurance claim, as well as a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages. An official police report typically shortens the amount of time it takes to resolve a vehicle collision case because of the expertise provided by highly-trained law enforcement investigators. The personal injury attorney that you hire from Morgan and Morgan refers to a car accident report to determine fault, which in turn decides which party should pay for the cost of medical bills and the repairs done to property damage.
When Do I Need a Car Accident Report?
Not every auto crash requires the submission of a formal accident report. For example, if you and another party get involved in a minor fender bender at the local supermarket, exchanging contact and insurance information should be enough to initiate the car insurance claim process. You need to obtain a copy of the official police report if a vehicle accident included the commission of a crime, such as an intoxicated driver who hit your vehicle and then fled the scene of the incident. Car accident reports are an essential part of any investigation that includes one or more parties that sustained injuries resulting from the impact of a vehicle collision.
If you got involved in a car accident and the crash occurred while you fulfilled a work-related responsibility, a car accident report helps move along a workers’ compensation claim faster through the claim process than if a claim did not include an official incident report. Filing an insurance claim requires the submission of a formal police report for an insurance adjuster to process the claim. An insurance claim submitted without a copy of the official police report either gets stuck in the system or comes back denied for compensation. Obtaining a copy of the official police report helps the personal injury attorney that you work with from Morgan and Morgan to present the most compelling case during a civil lawsuit.
What Information Should I Expect to Find in a Car Accident Report?
Whether you receive a copy of an official police report or you have to present your own car accident report, the report should contain certain types of information. The date, time, and location of the vehicle collision should be presented at the top of the report. Each driver’s name, contact information, and date of birth should follow the first section. Insurance information, including policy number and the type of coverage, helps both parties process claims for financial assistance. The driver’s license information for each motorist should appear on a car accident report to help attorneys working the case determine whether any of the parties involved in an auto crash has a traffic violation record.
License plate numbers verify the ownership of each vehicle, which is an important part of an accident report if one or more parties drove a motor vehicle owned by another individual. A car accident report should include a detailed account of what transpired before, during, and after the crash. Law enforcement agencies usually create a detailed diagram that shows the position of every vehicle involved in the incident. A description of road and weather conditions provide useful information that determines the cause of the collision. Towards the end of a police report, the author of the report should describe which party should assume most, if not all of the legal liability for causing the car accident.
What Happens if There Is Inaccurate Information in a Car Accident Report?
Although insurance companies and the judges that hear civil lawsuits heavily rely on the information presented in an official police report, that does mean the information presented is 100 percent accurate. You have the right to request that the law enforcement agency responsible for submitting an official car accident report make changes to correct inaccurate information. One of the most important reasons to hire a personal injury attorney from Morgan and Morgan is to ensure the accuracy of the formal police report. If your lawyer discovers an error, you submit a document that requests changes that reflect an accurate account of the incident.
Errors such as submitting an incorrect date and time of the accident can prompt an insurance claim to deny a claim for financial assistance. Although you have the right to request changes to the content presented in a car accident report, you cannot change the statements made by witnesses. You also cannot change the conclusion reached by the author or authors of the official police report. To counteract what your attorney believes to be an inaccurate assessment of fault, you have the right to submit your own car accident report that becomes part of the official record concerning the incident. The law enforcement agency responsible for filing the official police report must include your version of events.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Car Accidents?
One of the most important sections of a car accident report presents the reason or reasons why the collision occurred. Your personal injury attorney needs to establish the cause of a vehicle collision to determine whether the other party should assume legal liability for the incident. Not every cause of a car accident is the fault of another party. Determining the cause of a car accident requires the responding law enforcement agency to present considerable physical evidence to support their assertions.
Because distracted driving has become a frequent issue for law enforcement agencies, many agencies have aired public service announcements to discourage the dangerous practice. However, far too many motorists continue to violate state laws when it comes to texting and driving. Operating a motor vehicle while focused on an electronic communication device significantly increases the risk of causing a car accident. Other types of distraction include eating a meal, taking in the scenery, and applying cologne or makeup.
Driving Under the Influence
Although a personal injury attorney can have difficulty proving negligence as the result of distracted driving, the same cannot be said for a case of driving under the influence of alcohol. One of the first actions taken by a law enforcement officer who arrives at the scene of a vehicle collision is to determine whether alcohol played a role in causing the crash. Most states have established a maximum Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level of 0.08. Any measurement above 0.08 violates state law. A motorist who caused a crash while intoxicated can be found negligent for causing injuries to the other party involved in the collision.
A motorist does not have to be under the influence of alcohol to make poor decisions while operating a motor vehicle. Reckless driving, such as speeding and improper lane changes, represents one of the most common causes of auto crashes. Speeding is an especially dangerous act because the faster a vehicle travels at the time of impact, the more serious the injuries that result from the strong impact. Running a red light or stop sign can lead to a side-impact crash that severely injures the driver of the impacted vehicle.
Learn more about what is a car accident report and how one can help you build a persuasive case for compensation by scheduling a free case evaluation with one of the highly-skilled litigators at Morgan and Morgan.