If you've recently been in a car accident, one of the first things you'll likely do is file a police report. But what happens if you later find out that the information in your report is unreliable? Can you rely on your police report to help with your insurance claim or potential lawsuit? In this post, we'll explore the reliability of police reports and offer tips for ensuring accuracy.
A police report is written documentation created at the crash site by the responding officer. A police report usually contains details about the accident, a statement from all drivers and witnesses, and even a diagram. The officer typically gives a conclusion as to why the accident may have happened. This is where things can get lost in translation - otherwise known as an adverse report.
For starters, the information given to the police officer on duty is from the people involved in the crash. There is no guarantee that the report documented is accurate. Because the immediate aftermath of a car accident can be confusing and overwhelming, it can often lead to misremembered facts on the driver’s end.
Second, police reports are hearsay in court, which refers to any statements made out of court. Since the judge was not there to test the statements' validity, the court can’t accept those statements made during the trial—this means that police reports are inadmissible as evidence.
Although Inadmissible, They Are Still Needed
Police reports still serve a purpose regarding your personal injury claim. It is one of the most important documents needed in a car accident case. Police reports allow attorneys to put together a factual argument based on what the client gives them. On top of that, insurance companies tend to have a harder time denying liability when handed a police report that clearly states liability to whichever driver they insure.
But no need to worry; an adverse report isn’t the end of the story—police reports get things wrong quite often. Here at Law Offices of Braid Pezzaglia, we can answer any questions regarding your auto accident or police report.
Call us at (408) 650-8955 or fill out a consultation request form to contact our office.