Car Accidents and Police Reports
After an auto accident, it’s a good idea to speak with the Kirkland, WA injury lawyers of Quick Law Group, PLLC. Attorneys Matthew Quick and Elizabeth M. Quick can help assess your situation and help you understand what legal options are available. Ultimately, they feel that negligent parties should be held accountable for their actions, and that injury and accident victims should not have to shoulder the financial and emotional burdens of a crash on their own.
Police reports can play an important role when lawyers attempt to establish fault in auto collisions and car accidents. Let’s take a moment to go over the basics of these issues below.
About Police Reports
A police report is a document that is filled out by a police officer when they respond to an incident. It allows law enforcement to have a record of what occurred, including the officer’s own opinion of what transpired. For auto accidents, a police report is important for insurance needs as well as legal cases.
What Is in a Police Report?
Some information that is usually found in a police report for a car accident includes:
- Time and date of the accident
- Location of the accident
- Make and model of the vehicles involved
- License plate numbers
- Vehicle occupant names, contact info, and insurance details
- Information on witnesses of the crash
- Statements from motorists and witnesses
- Descriptions of vehicle damage
- Diagram of the collision
- Notes on any laws violated/tickets issued
- Notes on road and weather conditions
- Officer's assessment of the accident
A Mix of Both Facts and Opinion
You may have noticed from the list above that while the police report is full of numerous facts, there is also an element of opinion with the officer’s assessment. Keep in mind that the officer’s assessment is subjective, and it’s possible for disagreements to arise. It’s not uncommon for the assessment of a responding officer’s opinion regarding an accident to differ from the opinion of an insurance company.
Will the Police Report Prove Fault?
Not necessarily. We must consider the combination go fact and opinion in the police report, and how the police report alone may not be sufficient in proving fault in an accident.
That said, your attorney can consult the police report while building a legal case. Other evidence may be considered when attempting to establish fault, including any tickets that were issued, witness testimony and statements, and additional evidence such as video or photos. This kind of focus and knowledge in building a case is why it is so important to work with a skilled auto accident lawyer.
How to Get a Copy of the Police Report
There are two ways that you can receive a copy of a police report:
- Getting a Free Copy - If your insurance company has already requested and received a copy of the police report for review, you can receive a copy from them at no charge through a claims representative.
- Paying for a Copy - After responding to the accident, the responding officer will give you a receipt for your crash. This receipt can be used to get a copy of the police report from the law enforcement office. You will be required to pay an administrative fee.
Speak with Our Team of Injury Lawyers
For more information about proving fault in car crashes and holding negligent parties accountable, be sure to contact our team of auto accident attorneys. The lawyers at Quick Law Group, PLLC can be reached by phone at (425) 576-8150.