Car accidents can release a flood of negative consequences. Victims may be left with injuries, missed time from work, a loss of transportation, and more. If you've been in a wreck and are not to blame, the other driver may owe you monetary compensation. To make sure you are paid, evidence to support your claim for damages is vital. One very important piece of evidence may pop up at the accident scene – the accident report. Accident victims should not discount the importance of this document to their case. To find out more, read below.
Responding to the Scene
Law enforcement attends to almost all accident scenes and do some on-the-spot investigating while they are there. If they are called to the scene and respond, a report is prepared. If your accident happened on a limited-access road like an interstate or toll road, the highway patrol might respond. On city roads, the city police will probably show up. Accidents in rural, unincorporated areas are likely the sheriff's department's turf. Law enforcement officers are skilled at observation and interviewing techniques that can help them garner a lot of valuable information about the accident. The resulting report is an important and information-filled document that may turn out to be vital to your case.
Who Was at Fault?
This common question has to be answered before a claim can be paid. The responding officer is at an advantage to answer this question due to their experience in attending to accidents. The determinations law enforcement officers make about how the accident happened are often used by both insurance adjusters and attorneys for both sides when the question of fault arises. Accident reports contain a lot of helpful information about the parties, their insurers, witness contact info, and more. Most valuable, however, is their summary of how they believe the accident happened. The opinion offered is based on what the officer saw and heard at the scene, such as:
- Interviews with both drivers and any passengers.
- Interviews with eye witnesses.
- The location of damage on the vehicles.
- Skid marks and any damage to signs or other roadside objects.
- Issues with drivers, including driving while intoxicated (DUI) arrests or the issuance of serious traffic citations like reckless driving.
Seeking Legal Help
This report should be obtained and provided to your personal injury attorney. The information on the report will give the attorney a good idea of whether or not you have a good case against the other driver. To find out more, call an auto accident attorney and make an appointment as soon as possible.