Suffering an injury in a car accident caused by another driver is incredibly frustrating. You’re losing money because you can’t work, and your medical bills keep pouring in. While you know you have the truth on your side, how can you produce the evidence it takes to prove the wreck wasn’t your fault? One way? Make sure you file a police report at the scene.
The police report could very well be the proof you need. The attorneys with Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh have three reasons this report will be vital to your case. We’d also like to tell you more about how we can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Use our online contact form or call (561) 295-5825 for a free consultation.
1. It Documents Important Information
A police report typically contains essential information, including details about the time, location, and weather conditions at the time of the accident. The report will also include the names and contact information of the drivers involved, as well as any witnesses to the accident.
The report will often describe the vehicles involved, including makes, models, and license plate numbers. It may also include information about any damage sustained by the vehicles and any injuries sustained by the drivers or passengers.
In addition to these details, the police report may contain the officer’s opinion about who was at fault in the accident based on their investigation and any evidence they collected. The report may also include any citations or charges that were issued.
Overall, a police report after a car accident is a valuable source of information for insurance companies, lawyers, and anyone involved in resolving the accident’s aftermath.
2. It’s Required in Some Circumstances
A police report is typically required after a car accident in several scenarios. One common situation is when the accident results in significant damage or injuries.
Florida law mandates a police report if an accident results in injury or death or results in $500 or more in damage to property or vehicles.
Another situation where a police report is required is when the accident involves a hit-and-run driver. In these cases, drivers must immediately notify police so they can begin an investigation and attempt to identify the driver responsible.
Also, if there’s any suspicion of drunk driving or other criminal activity involved in the accident, a police report will likely be required. This allows law enforcement to gather evidence and determine if they need to file charges.
Ultimately, the decision to file a police report after a car accident depends on the specific circumstances involved. It’s always a good idea to err on the side of caution and contact the police if there’s any doubt about whether a report is needed.
3. It’s an Essential Piece of Evidence
This police report is critical for many reasons. Insurance companies, attorneys, and other parties will use it to determine what happened and who was to blame. Again, the report will very likely include the officer’s opinion of which driver was to blame and witness statements. This opinion, as well as any statements that may be part of the report, can carry significant weight in resolving any legal disputes arising from the accident.
How to File a Police Report
Filing a police report is an important step to take after a car accident. The process of filing a report may vary depending on the jurisdiction and type of incident involved. Still, there are some general steps to follow:
- Call the police immediately.
- Give the officer as much information as possible about the incident, including the time, location, and what happened.
- Ask the officer for a report number, which will be used to track the status of your report.
- You can request a copy of the report from the police department, usually for a fee.
- Follow up with the police department to check your report’s status and provide any additional information that may be needed.
You must file a police report as soon as possible after an accident to ensure that the details are fresh in your mind and to increase the chances of a successful investigation.
What Should You Say to the Police?
If you’re involved in a car accident and need to speak to the police, follow these general guidelines:
- Provide your name, contact information, and any other information the police officer requests.
- Stick to the facts of the accident and avoid speculating or guessing about what happened. If you don’t know something, it’s okay to say, “I don’t know.”
- Be clear and concise in your statements. Answer the police officer’s questions directly, but don’t offer more information than is necessary.
- If possible, take photos of the scene and damage to the vehicles and provide them to the police officer.
- Avoid admitting fault or apologizing for the accident, as this can be used against you later.
- If you don’t understand a question, ask for clarification before answering.
- Remember that anything you say to the police can be used as evidence in court, so be truthful and straightforward in your statements.
Steps to Take After You File a Police Report
After filing a police report after a car accident, there are a few things that may happen:
- Insurance claims: You may need to file a claim with your insurance company. The insurer will likely use the police report as evidence in the claims process.
- Legal proceedings: If there are legal proceedings, your attorney will also use the report as evidence.
- Follow-up: The police may follow up with you for additional information or to update you on the status of the investigation.
You should keep track of any deadlines or follow-up requests from the police or insurance company. If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact the police department or a legal professional for guidance.
Contact Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation
The experts with Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh will fight passionately to help ensure you obtain fair compensation. We can bring in expert witnesses to make your case as strong as possible and take other steps to ensure you achieve a positive outcome. Also, you won’t pay a dime unless we’re successful.
Contact us online or call (561) 295-5825 for a free evaluation of your case.