When you are involved in an accident, no matter how minor, you should always call the police and have them come out to the scene and document what happened. This evidence can be very important down the road. If you were involved in an accident and the police responded, their report could be very vital to your personal injury case.
How To Gain Access To Your Police Report
If the police responded to your accident, even if they didn't issue any tickets, they are required to write up a report that details what they saw and observed, as well as what witnesses described to them. The reports that they make are then filed with the office for which they work. For example, if you were pulled over by Lake County Sheriffs, your report would be located at the Lake County Sheriff office but you if you were pulled over by a Michigan State Trooper, your report would be located with the Michigan State Police.
First, you need to figure out what policy agency responded to your accident. Once you figure that out based on information given to you by the police on the scene or by looking up where your accident took place, reach out and contact that police department.
The police department should be able to look up and provide you with an official copy of your police report. Depending on the policies of the department, you may be able to make the request online or over the phone for the report, although some police departments still require such requests to be put in writing.
You may also be asked to pay a small transaction fee to gain access to your police report.
How To Use Your Police Report
When you obtain your police report, take some time to go over it very carefully.
Make sure that the date, time, and location of the accident were correct. Then, make sure that your contact information and that of the other driver are correct as well. Next, make sure that any statements you gave were recorded correctly. Finally, make sure that the observations and conclusions reached by the police match what you remember about the accident.
If you find any mistakes with the police report, make sure that you reach out in writing to the police department and provide a written statement about the mistakes that you noticed in the report and see if they can change the report. Even if they cannot change the report, making a written statement will strengthen any argument you have against contrary facts presented in the police report.
You can then use the police report to strength your case. You can draw upon and ask witnesses listed in the report to testify in your case. You can contact the officers who responded to your case and ask them to testify as well. You can use the police investigation to prove that the other party bears responsibility for your injures.
Be sure to hand over a copy of the police report to your car accident attorney. This is a valuable piece of evidence that contains tons of supporting evidence that can be used to strengthen your personal injury case. FOr more information, talk to a lawyer like Carl L. Britt, Jr.