Proving Fault: Car Accidents and Police Reports
After any car accident, one question will undoubtedly arise: who is at fault for the crash? The answer to this question will determine which party’s insurance will cover damages.
If you were involved in a car accident, attorneys Randy Akin and Greg Burton can use the police report to help show the other party’s liability. Our car accident attorneys will investigate the circumstances regarding your accident, and secure a copy of the car accident police report to help us hold the responsible party liable for damages. Contact our Longview, TX practice for a case review.
What Is Included in a Car Accident Police Report?
Just about any car accident involving an injury or property damage will be investigated at the scene by a police officer. The officer will collect details about the accident, possibly including:
- The names, addresses, and insurance information for all parties involved
- Conditions surrounding the accident such as the weather, road conditions, and lighting
- Statements from all involved parties to gather their accounts of what happened
- Statements from anyone who witnessed the accident
- Contact information for witnesses, including names and addresses
- Details about any injuries sustained in the accident and whether or not those injuries resulted in hospitalization or medical treatment
- Details about vehicle damage such as the location of the damage on the car
- A visual representation of the accident scene
- Citations or violations of the law
- A determination of who is likely at fault for the accident
Although some police reports are more specific and detailed than others, the information within them is important. Our attorneys may be able to use the contents of the report to prove that the other party is at fault.
What Happens if the Police Report Contains Mistakes?
Police reports contain two types of information: facts and opinions. There are certain indisputable facts, such as where and when the accident took place. Then there are opinions such as who is responsible for the collision.
The facts in a police report, if incorrect, can be amended in a relatively straightforward process.
Changing a potentially contentious statement such as who was responsible for the accident can prove more challenging. Regardless, it is important that an attorney obtain and review the police report shortly after the accident to verify its accuracy and, if necessary, recommend corrections.
How Can a Police Report Help Prove Fault in a Car Accident Case?
While an officer is not required to opine who was at fault in a car accident police report, they often do. By analyzing evidence, the officer can come to his or her own conclusion.
For example, if lengthy tire skid marks indicate that one party had been speeding, the officer might safely deem that driver responsible for causing the accident.
In addition to the officer’s opinion, the police report may contain critical evidence such as witness statements that can be used to prove the other driver at fault.
Contact an Auto Accident Lawyer
If you were involved in an auto accident and believe the other driver was responsible, speak to a car accident attorney at our law firm. We can help establish that the other party was at fault and ensure your rights are protected. Call us at (903) 297-8929 or contact us online today.