A Police Report Can Paint A Pretty Authoritative Picture Of A Car Accident But What If The Report Itself Contains A Mistake Or You Want To Change Information Contained In It
After a car accident, especially when someone was injured, it’s likely that a law enforcement officer will come to the scene and prepare a report of the accident — who was involved, how it happened, who was injured, extent of vehicle damage, and in some cases, information on who was at fault. So, a police report can paint a pretty authoritative picture of a car accident, but what if the report itself contains a mistake, or you want to change information contained in it?
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How Is It Used
A police report serves several purposes, depending on who is using it.
Reports serve as the starting point of law enforcement investigations into an accident. They also act as evidence of the accident, which means that victims can use them as legal support in a court case and in their insurance claim.
They also serve as a record for police and attorneys to reference. If court proceedings began or if the investigating officer was subject to a performance review, the report serves as evidence of the quality of their work.
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Let A Car Accident Attorney Review Your Police Report Today
Car accident injury attorneys spend a huge portion of their workdays understanding and evaluating the facts and circumstances of motor vehicle collisions. They know their way around a police report what it shows, what it doesnt, and what impact it might have on obtaining compensation for a client. After you have obtained the police report from your car accident, give it to an experienced motor vehicle accident injury attorney to learn about how it affects your rights.
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.
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Y And Witness Statements
This is the most important section for you, because this is where you get to tell your side of the story.
If the report is being taken by a responding officer, be sure to read over what they write down for you, and confirm its accuracy on the spot. You may want to review what the other parties and witnesses put down in their statements if you get the opportunity.
If you review a police accident report and discover an error, let them know immediately. If the error concerns a factual mistake, such as a misspelled name or incorrect license numbersomething that is easily confirmableyou will likely find it simple to correct.
Don’t expect to be able to change something that amounts to a conclusion reached by the report taker, though, even if you believe that the conclusion is factually incorrect.
Our Georgia Car Accident Lawyers Are Ready To Help You
If you have been in a car accident, call our personal injury attorneys in Norcross and Athens at Adamson & Cleveland, LLC. We can help you obtain the police report, guide you through the claims process and work closely with you to pursue the full amount of compensation you deserve. Contact us to schedule your free consultation.
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Why You Need A Police Report After An Accident
Police reports help document what happened during an accident, and one of their main benefits is that they are objective. That helps the insurance company or any other legal entities understand exactly what happened, in an unbiased way.
If information is needed as evidence, it holds more weight than what might be considered “hearsay” between your story and the other driver’s story.
The police report is important not just in regard to making an insurance claim, but also as evidence in a potential civil or criminal court action.
Who Interprets Forensic Toxicology Tests And How
Toxicologists, chemists, and pathologists all need to be involved to correctly interpret results.
”The first thing we would do is a basic screen for drugs in the urine and in the blood,” Magnani says. The search would be for drugs such as opiates, amphetamines, , alcohol, and barbiturates, she says.
The basic toxicology screen typically uses an immunoassay, Robin says. This type of test looks for drugs in the blood using specific antibodies that detect various classes of drugs.
If something shows up, a more sophisticated test is done, using techniques such as mass spectrometry, which can identify chemicals in substances by their mass and charge.
“These confirmatory methods are actually more sensitive,” Robin says. “You can find lower quantities .”
The more sophisticated tests can tell experts the exact concentration of the drug or other substance, says Hall, who is also clinical assistant professor of public health at Weatherford College in Weatherford, Texas.
Experts also can determine if two drugs found together may have had a synergistic effect — which happens when two drugs similar in their actions produce an exaggerated effect when taken together. It’s akin to ”one plus one equals five,” Robins says.
Experts have to determine if the drug or other substances found in the specimens are a therapeutic dose, a toxic dose, or a lethal dose — whether they contributed to the death or caused the death.
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Who To Call To Report An Accident
After calling the police, you should also call your insurance company. This is an important step for a few reasons.
First, your insurance policy likely requires you to do so. If you fail to notify your insurance company that you were involved in an accident, you may be denied coverage.
Second, your insurance coverage will allow you quicker access to funds to pay for repairs, medical bills, and other costs. Waiting for a claim with the other drivers insurance company to resolve can take longer.
Finally, if the other driver doesnt have insurance, you may need your uninsured motorist coverage to pay for your damages. Hence, while you do not need to submit a claim to your insurance company right away, you should always notify your insurer of the accident as soon as possible.
If The Police Do Not Come To The Accident
There may be times that a police officer can’t come to the scene of the accident. Here are a few reasons why that might happen:
- In some states, the police are not required to go to the scene of an accident if the property damage value is too low. If you are concerned about injuries or other issues, make the police aware when you call it in. Having more details can help them decide whether they will come.
- The police may decide not to come if there are no injuries.
- If there is a public emergency or disaster underway, they may be too busy to make it to the scene of your crash.
You should always make a call to the police and let them decide whether they’ll come out. If the police do not come to the scene, then make sure you record all the details of the accident and any damages yourself.
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When Should I Report An Accident To The Police
Even if your state law gives you a cushion of 10 days, 30 days, or something else, you should always report an accident to the police as soon as possible. In some cases, if you take longer than a certain amount of time, you may need to provide documentation proving why you weren’t able to submit it earlier.
What Should I Do If Im Contacted By Police
If youre contacted by police, keep in mind that you dont have to speak to them without having an attorney present. If youre not under arrest, you dont have to remain at the police station and continue talking to them if you wish to leave. Remember that any information you voluntarily provide without an attorney present can still be used in a case against you.
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S To Take To Correct Your Police Report
If you find errors in the police reporteven factual onesyou do not want to ignore them. Here are some helpful tips on how to get a police report corrected:
In addition, hiring an attorney soon after your crash is always a smart strategy. He can help you avoid mistakes, investigate your accident more thoroughly, and negotiate your settlement. If you were involved in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, our firm today to schedule a free consultation with David Brauns.
Police Reports And Car Accident Injury Claims
This written police report is usually not admissible in court, but it can be a crucial tool when it comes to determining liability for the accident and preserving key facts surrounding the crash — including contact information and statements from parties involved in the accident and anyone who may be able to help piece together what happened .
From a legal standpoint, if an insurance claim or lawsuit is filed after a car accident, the police report is one of the first pieces of documentary evidence that everyone will look at — including attorneys and insurance claims adjusters. So it’s no surprise that once a fact or an observation is entered into a police report , that information instantly carries a lot of weight. Learn more about police reports and fault for a car accident.
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Atlantic City Expressway Crash Reports
Accidents on the Atlantic City Expressway are handled by the Atlantic City Police Department. Parkway. You can request your crash report online or by mail.
Request Your Report Online
To obtain a secure copy of your crash report online go to crashdocs.org. Search using email, driver or involved partys last name, date of the accident, report number. Reports are $5.
Request Your Report By Mail
Mail request to Atlantic City Expressway Authority, P.O. Box 389, Hammonton, NJ 08037 phone 609-965-7200 ext 108 certified Check or money order payable to South Jersey Transportation Authority
For all other questions about crash reports contact New Jersey State Police at 882-2000 ext 2234.
Traffic Accidents Without Police Reports
The police arent always available to come to every car accident scene. In busy jurisdictions, an officer might not be available to respond to minor fender-benders with no reported injuries.
If the police dont investigate your accident, its up to you to create your own accident report. Youll need the report to help convince the other drivers insurance company that their insured, and not you, caused the accident.
Weve made it easy with a free Car Accident Information Form. Keep copies of the form in your car. Youll always be ready to gather the information youll need for a successful insurance claim.
Fill out the accident information form. Describe what caused the crash and draw the vehicles locations before and after the collision.
Include the names and contact information of the other driver, passengers, and any witnesses. Be sure to get the other drivers insurance information. In most states, the other driver must provide their drivers license number, if asked. Use your phone to take pictures and videos, if you safely can.
Send a copy of your completed form, witness statements, and photographs to the insurance adjuster handling your claim. If the other driver doesnt admit to causing the accident, your detailed report and pictures may convince the adjuster to accept your claim.
If the insurance company refuses to cooperate or denies your claim, you have nothing to lose by contacting a personal injury attorney.
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Fastest Way To Obtain A Report
The quickest way to a copy of a Traffic Collision Report or Arrest Report is to hire a personal injury attorney who will handle the task for you. You need an attorney anyway it is essential if you want the best possible outcome in your legal matter. Once you hire an attorney, he or she will obtain the report through the most efficient channels, which depends upon the agency who prepared the report. Some law enforcement agencies, such as the San Diego Police Department , make the reports available on the internet through certain legal providers. Some only provide the report over the counter at the agency. Some agencies accept mail requests, which your lawyer can expedite by delivering a stamped mailing envelope to the correct contact person at the agency and paying applicable fees in advance so that the moment the report is ready it will be forwarded to your lawyer.
Using The Car Accident Police Report To Support Your Insurance Claim
The police report can be key evidence in a successful auto insurance claim. See how using a crash report can boost your injury compensation.
If youre in a traffic accident, you expect the at-fault driver or their auto insurance to compensate you for your damages. But insurance companies dont just hand over their money.
It may be clear to you that the other driver caused the crash, but you have to prove it to the claims adjuster. Police reports are powerful evidence that can help you meet your burden of proof.
Police accident reports are usually available within a week or two of the accident. Most reports can be ordered online for a small fee. If you need help requesting a report, contact the state or local law enforcement agency that handled your accident investigation.
Heres where we unpack whats in a car accident police report, how to use the report to support your claim, and what to do if youre in a crash that doesnt result in a police investigation.
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Why Do The Forensic Toxicology Tests Take So Long
Getting a complete and accurate forensic toxicology test result can be a lengthy process for a variety of reasons, according to the College of American Pathologists and experts interviewed by WebMD.
There may be a lot of specimens that need to be tested, which means more testing time. And as an investigation proceeds, information about the possibility of another drug being involved may surface, so even more testing may be needed.
When the first round of positive tests have to be confirmed by the more sophisticated method, this may require sending out the specimens to more specialized laboratories. And that adds to the delay.
“Four to six weeks is pretty standard,” Magnani says of the time line for forensic toxicology testing. Besides the time needed for painstaking analysis and confirmation, she says, there could be a backlog of tests that need to be done at a particular laboratory.
“Each one should be handled thoroughly, whether they are a celebrity or not,” she says.
Why Do I Need A Police Report
The crash report for your accident will contain crucial information about your case. The police take the time to investigate the accident, inspect the vehicles, talk to witnesses, and take photographs of the scene. All this information will be included in the report, including the following information:
- An approximate date, time, and location of the accident
- All contact information of the parties involved, including the insurance information
- Any information as provided by witnesses of the accident
- The damage to the vehicles
- The conditions of the scene such as the state of the road, weather, and visibility
- The statements provided by the other party and witnesses
- Any citations or violations that were issued by the officer
Also included in the police report will be opinions by the police as to what was the cause of the crash and who may be at fault. Despite what the officer believes, remember that your insurance company will draw its own conclusions about what had occurred.
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How Do I File A Police Report After My Accident
Once youre safe and away from the scene of the accident, call the local police. The information that you provide is what goes into the accident report. Once youre notified that the report is ready, youll have to submit it to the DMV within ten days of the accident. The local police station will be able to provide you information on how to retrieve the report. If you learn that the other driver involved in the accident has already filed a police report, youll still need to have one filed for yourself.
If you sustained severe injuries that leave you unable to file a police report, a passenger who was with you during the accident can file the report instead. If you didnt have a passenger with you and youre incapacitated, then someone close to you like a friend or family member can file the police report on your behalf. Keep in mind that the owner of the vehicle is ultimately the one responsible for filing a police report.
How Do You Order A Copy Of The Crash Report
The most common way of obtaining a crash report is to visit the police department, sheriff station or Georgia Highway Patrol unit that responded to the crash. You must do this even if the station is located in a different county or city that you live in because that station will have the report.
Prior to visiting the police department, you should call the general number, which you can likely find online, and ask where you should go to obtain the report and what hours it will be available. You will likely be directed to the Records Unit. You should also ask how much it costs to receive a copy of the accident report. It is usually five dollars or less. It is important to make sure that the station has a copy of your accident report available. Usually, it will take a few days after the car accident before the report is available for pick up.
Some people find that it is more convenient to order the accident report online, particularly if the crash occurred a significant distance from where they live. When this is the case, you can order it online at BuyCrash.com for a small fee. You will need to provide some information, such as your name, date and your vehicle identification number .
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