Do You Need the Police Report in a Car Accident Case?

If you’ve ever been involved in a minor car accident, you know how tempting it is to exchange insurance information with the other driver and call it a day. The thought of having to call the police and stick around the accident scene for a couple of hours is dreadful.

Unfortunately, that’s the only way you can get a police report. And, without this report, your Albany car accident lawyer will have a very hard time proving your case.

Your Albany Car Accident Lawyer Knows It’s Frustrating to Wait for the Police

All drivers know that the right thing to do after a car accident is to call 911. It’s one of the first things we’re taught when we first get our driver’s license. But this doesn’t mean that you want to call the police.

It is true that it can take hours for the police to arrive and do their investigation. It’s also true that the officers on the scene will want to question you about what happened. However, as much as you want to exchange insurance information with the other driver and leave the scene, you shouldn’t.

Why Do So Many Accident Victims Decide to Not Involve the Police?

It’s not only that people don’t want to wait for the police to do their job. A lot of people would rather not let the insurance company know they were in an accident. Your premiums will go up. Plus, you’ll have to pay your deductible anyway.

When the other driver promises to pay to fix your car, you trust them. The last thing you imagine is that they would give you false contact and insurance information. Sadly, this happens more than you’d think.

Of course, money and inconvenience are just two of the reasons why so many drivers forego calling 911. Even if you weren’t at fault, you may not want to see the police.

  • Your license may be expired or suspended.
  • Your registration or inspection may be expired.
  • Perhaps you aren’t where you were supposed to be. Maybe you called out sick but were actually on the way to a baseball game or the beach.
  • You’re driving someone else’s car and are afraid their insurance won’t cover the accident. (Just so you know for future reference, insurance follows the car not the driver.)
  • You borrowed your parents’ car, and they have no idea.

Whatever the reason, what you need to remember is that it’s not a good enough reason to avoid calling the police.

A driver calling an Albany car accident lawyer

Why Is the Police Report So Critical to Your Case?

It can be very hard to prove your case without a police report. The police officer’s observations, findings, and notes can make the difference between winning your case and walking away with nothing.

The other issue is that your attorney won’t be able to track down witnesses without this report. Once the accident scene is cleared, there’s no way to talk to witnesses or get their contact information. Plus, most eyewitnesses don’t want to get involved.

It’s a lot easier to get a stranger to talk to the police than an Albany car wreck lawyer. Then, once your attorney has their contact information from the police report, they can reach out to them for more information.

There’s Critical Information in the Police Report

Once the police officer completed their investigation, they’ll put all their findings in their report. This report will be available to you almost immediately after the crash. It’s important that you order a copy right away so you can forward it to your auto accident lawyer.

Here’s what you can typically expect to find in a police report:

  • The date, time, and location of the accident
  • A description of the vehicles involved
  • The names and contact information of the drivers and passengers involved
  • The names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident
  • A description of the accident itself, including how it happened and who was at fault
  • The name of the investigating officer and their badge number

You have a right to review the final police report. In fact, if you dispute any of the facts in the report, your lawyer can request that it be revised.

The Police Report May Be Your Strongest Piece of Evidence

The police report serves as impartial and credible evidence. It’s written by someone who wasn’t involved in the accident and has no stake in the outcome of your case. This makes it much more credible than evidence provided by either party to the accident.

The police report can help establish liability. The officer who filed the report will typically include their opinion on who was at fault in the accident. This can be helpful in convincing the insurance company to pay your claim. The report will also state whether the other driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash.

Contact Our Office and Schedule Your Free, Initial Consultation

If you want your accident lawyer in Albany, Georgia to get you as much money as possible, you’ll need the police report. It can be your biggest weapon when it comes to proving fault. Without it, your case can turn into a “he said, she said” situation.

We offer new clients a free, initial consultation. All you have to do is give us a call at (229) 351-5320.

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Joe Durham Jr., P.C. is a highly experienced personal injury attorney, dedicated to ensuring his clients get the compensation they deserve. When you need help, he's got your back!