Facts Versus Opinions In Police Reports
The information contained in the police report can be a fact or an opinion. For example, the date, time, and location of the collision are facts. Fault determinations are the opinions of the police officer.
Regardless of what’s included in the police report, the insurance company, through its own investigation, will come to its own conclusion as to who was at fault for the accident.
What Information Is On The Georgia Uniform Motor Vehicle Accident Report
Some parts of an accident report are very easy to read. For example, you can easily see where all of the parties names are listed on the report. Other basic information includes:
- Date and time of the accident
- A description of the vehicles involved
- Driver conditions and actions
- Information regarding insurance and drivers license data
- Data required for commercial motor vehicles
Vehicle Types Listed On The Crash Report
Vehicle Type tends to be one of the more straightforward sections of the crash report and easier to understand than other sections because most people are already familiar with different types of vehicles. For example, we can all understand that a bicycle accident is very different from a truck accident.
Nonetheless, the crash report is pretty comprehensive and makes some distinctions that the average person wouldnt necessarily bother with. In fact, there are 23 different types of vehicles the officer can list on your crash report. They are:
The most common options are passenger car, pickup truck, and van, but the options try to be as comprehensive as possible nearly any kind of vehicle can fit under one of these types.
Even so, officers are allowed to choose other if something truly doesnt fit. In that case, they will write an explanation of what the vehicle was.
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Road Character Codes Noted On The Crash Report
There are several types of road character descriptions available on the standard Georgia Crash Report, each with a numeric code. Interestingly, however, there is no other category like most of the other collision descriptions. That means that the officer must pick the road character most similar to the location of the crash. But, the investigating officer can also add more specific information in the notes section of the report as well.
The road character codes on the crash report include:
Provincial Police Say They Were Chasing The Car After It Refused To Pull Over
Two teenagers are dead and the province’s police watchdog is investigating after a vehicle fell from an overpass off the Décarie Expressway in Montreal.
According to the police watchdog, the Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes , the vehicle was heading southbound on Highway 15 when provincial police signalled for it to pull over around 2:20 a.m.
The driver of the car refused to stop and the officers pursued, but reportedly lost sight of the vehicle near the Sherbrooke Street exit.
The car was found beneath the Saint-Jacques exit loop, where it appears to have gone off the road, crashing several metres to the ground below.
Both male occupants, aged 16 and 18, were killed.
Transport Québec said there was structural damage to the infrastructure.
The BEI investigates in cases where civilians are seriously hurt or killed during a police intervention. Five of its investigators were sent to the scene of the crash and Montreal police will be supporting its investigation.
Anyone who witnessed the event is asked to get in touch via the BEI website.
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Four: Unit 1 Unit 2 And So On
The third and fourth pages of the Kentucky Uniform Police Traffic Collision Report were using as a sample contains detailed information on units, with one page for each vehicle, beginning with Unit 1. Each will list the vehicle, who was driving, any passengers, the vehicles owner, insurance information, and so forth. Factors identified by the officer as contributing to the accident will be listed as well.
In our sample, we see Unit 1s operator identified by name, birthdate, address, and drivers license number. The vehicle had three occupants and was proceeding straight ahead when there was a tire failure that led to the accident. Happily the vehicle did not catch fire and did not overturn.
Lower down the page youll find a lot of details about the vehicle, including a description by make, model, model year, and the assigned numbers for the the VIN and the registration. The insurance carrier and policy number are listed here as well, information crucial to making a claim!
This is also where the investigating officer will record the first area of impact, the vehicles travel direction, and the extent of damage. If the unit is a commercial vehicle, the officer has a lot more information to include! Commercial vehicles are regulated at the state and federal levels and this information is used to meet government reporting requirements.
In our sample, the driver of Unit 1 was not given a citation.
What Type Of Liability Could Result From A Collision With A Non
If you collide with a non-fixed object, legal liability could result. The type of damage caused could vary widely. For example, a collision with a pedestrian is likely going to cause much more significant injuries or damage compared to a collision with a parked car.
Although you may assume that legal responsibility will always rest with the person who hit the non-fixed object, that may not always be the case. There may be situations where a pedestrian was also at fault because they werent walking in a designated area or walked out in front of a vehicle without looking. Even animals, such as cattle that are owned by a local rancher could lead to legal liability on behalf of the rancher.
Likewise, in some cases, the car that hit the object is not the car at fault for the accident. For example, if one car changes lanes without looking and runs a second car off the road, and the second car collides with a popcorn stand, theres a good chance that its the first driver who is actually liable for the damages to the stand.
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What Objects Are Considered Fixed On The Georgia Motor Vehicle Crash Report
Generally, anything that is not designed to move is considered fixed. This is true even if your collision with the object shifts it slightly. For example, if you reposition a temporary barrier by hitting it, it is still considered a fixed object.
The types of fixed objects that can be circled on the crash report include:
Manner Of Collision Codes Listed On The Crash Report
The Manner of Collision section describes how the vehicles involved initially came into contact. That means that they may have hit again later or harmed other parts of the car, but this section only deals with the first impact between the vehicles involved.
The categories that the Georgia crash report use include:
The Georgia Department of Transportation notes that vehicle malfunctions are not collisions with a motor vehicle. But, when those malfunctions cause a crash, that could result in damages or injury. This is true even when the car that caused the accident was in transport when it failed or malfunctioned.
What To Consider When Filing A Police Report After A Car Accident
Filing a police report after a car accident is an important step. Documenting the details ensures that all parties are protected.
It’s good to contact the police any time you’re in a car accident. In some states, it is even required. Either way, you are better off letting the police decide whether they should come to the scene of the crash.
Once you’ve called the police, you will have done your part to protect yourself and follow the law. This will be helpful if someone files a lawsuit later.
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Should You File A Report For Small Accidents
Even if there is only minor damage, it is still smart to file an accident report to record the details. The damage isn’t always clear at the time of the crash, and you might notice added injury or loss at a later time.
You don’t know what the other person in the car accident will decide to do or say after you have left the scene. Filing a report means the police can help make sure the details are correct.
What Will The Police Do At The Scene Of A Car Accident
The police are there to help. They will be able to provide support to the parties involved in the crash, interview witnesses, and gather all necessary information about the accident. The cops will do some or all of the following:
- Take down basic information.
- Make sure the area is secure and safe for traffic and all people involved.
- Give tickets if this is required due to violations or negligence.
- Speak to witnesses, third parties, or any other people involved.
- Evaluate the situation to help avoid scams or other issues.
- Prepare a report you can later use to file your insurance claim or use in court if needed.
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What If The Information In The Accident Report Is Incorrect
Usually, the investigating police officer did not witness the accident. Therefore, the officer is relying on a basic inspection of the vehicles and informal witness interviews when trying to determine how a crash occurred. Unfortunately, this means that the officers conclusions might be based on misinformation or a misunderstanding about how exactly an accident was caused.
Often, for example, one motorist is transported to the hospital, while the other driver is the only one who can give an initial statement about what happened. Depending on who was at fault, this motorist might simply give a self-serving statement to alleviate their own blame.
Therefore, if the information someone reads in an accident report is inaccurate, they should have the opportunity to submit their own version of the crash to the investigating police department. Depending on the circumstances, the department might consider this version of events and even change the finding of fault. If this information is rejected, however, an individual still has an opportunity to dispute the findings of fault at a traffic court hearing.
How To Read A North Carolina Police Report
After youve been involved in a car accident, the officer at the scene will investigate the wreck and record their findings in a report.
This accident report can play a big role in determining how much an insurance company offers you for your damages.
This is especially true in North Carolina because North Carolina is a contributory negligence state. Basically, if the insurance company can prove that you were negligent in any way, you may get nothing even if the other driver was clearly reckless. Whether that rule makes any sense is a discussion for another time. Right now, you want to protect yourself against the insurance company and their team that may be looking to try to prove you contributed to the accident in some way.
Thats why obtaining and knowing how to read an accident report is so important.
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Our Highly Respected Lawyers Explain What You Need To Look For
One of the most important pieces of evidence related to your car accident may be the police report for your crash. This document, officially known as Texas Peace Officers Crash Report , contains a wealth of information about your accident. Insurance companies also often use this document to figure out who was at fault in the accident.
Thats why its important to know how to read this document and verify that all the information listed in it is correct. Otherwise, you might not get the financial compensation you deserve for your accident-related expenses. Since your accident-related expenses can easily add up to thousands or even millions of dollars, a lot is at stake in your case.
Our experienced McAllen car accident attorneys at Karam Law Firm know how to read accident reports. As your lawyer, we can review your crash report with you and make sure everythings correct. If you do notice any mistakes, we can help you contact the police and work to set the record straight.
Are Police Reports Admissible In Court
In small claims courts, litigants are usually permitted to use police reports as evidence in their car accident case. You will not be expected to know all the rules of evidence, so judges typically will allow plaintiffs and defendants to use the police report in explaining what happened.
If your car accident case goes to trial in your state’s court of general jurisdiction , you should know that parties in these cases are held to the rules of evidence and must contend with whether the police report falls within the rule against “hearsay” evidence, which keeps out many out-of-court statementsby definition, any assertion made in a police report is a statement that was made out of court.
In some jurisdictions, the police report may fall within the “public records” or “business records” exception for admissibility. In other jurisdictions, different exceptions to the hearsay rule may apply and allow you to admit some or all of the police report as evidence.
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How Does The Court Determine Who Is At Fault In A Car Accident
After a car accident, the victim may file a lawsuit to recover money for their injuries and damages. If you file a lawsuit following a car accident, the court will determine who was at fault by considering whether the defendant was negligent. As discussed above, a person is negligent when he or she fails to take reasonable caution under the circumstances.
In your case, a court will consider arguments from the parties lawyers, as well as various evidence presented by the lawyers. This includes testimonies from drivers, witnesses, police officers, and experts such as doctors and accident reconstructionists.
Either a judge or a jury, depending on who is responsible for deciding the case, will determine based on the evidence whether the other driver was negligent and must pay you money to compensate you for your injuries and other losses.
As stated earlier, it is important to understand that police reports and determinations of fault by insurance companies do not control the outcome of a court case. The rules of evidence may prevent certain evidence from being introduced during trial, including police reports, which are generally considered hearsay. Moreover, different rules govern the legal determination of responsibility for a car accident, including precedent from prior cases in the jurisdiction where your case is being heard.
Two: Basic Information On The First Page
The first page of the Kentucky Uniform Police Traffic Collision Report contains basic information: when the collision occurred, where it happened, where the injured were sent, whether there was property damage other than to the involved vehicles, and which police department responded.
The top and bottom of the first page help you identify the report and who prepared it. The agency is listed along with the reports file number at the top, while the bottom has the name of the investigating officer and his or her ID number, the name of the officer who reviewed the report, and information about any photos taken of the scene. Heres the top of the page:
And heres the bottom:
If the accident results in a lawsuit, the investigating officer may be asked about his or her recollections of the scene. Photos are often taken after major accidents. As lawyers, well file an Open Records request to get copies of any photos taken.
In some circumstances, particularly where there has been a death, the police will have an accident reconstructionist examine the scene and write a separate report. Again, if the case is likely to result in litigation well obtain the reconstructionists report as part of our investigation.
The information on when and where the accident occurred is found in the top half of the first page of the Kentucky Uniform Police Traffic Collision Report, just below the name of the investigating agency:
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