Getting into an accident can be one of the most traumatic experiences that a person will endure. There is not only the instant jolt of the accident itself, but you may suffer injuries, both physical and psychological, which can leave a heavy impact on your life for a period of time.
Many have to take some time off from work, costing them wages, or they are forced to see a doctor where they need to spend money for an examination, medical treatment, maybe even an ambulance ride. All of these kinds of things can become quite costly over time.
In situations like these having a police report can prove extremely valuable. If you end up going to court you will want all the evidence possible to prove your claim and being able to provide a police report to back up what you are trying to prove is priceless.
The More Facts Known About the Accident the Better
A common mistake that people make when they get in an accident is that they do not contact local law enforcement to have a police report written out. They assume that the person they were involved in the accident with will be a good-natured person who will act in an ethical manner.
Regardless of whether you are the person who caused the accident or not, you should never rely on the honesty of another person. This is why it is important that you contact the police to make a report immediately after the accident occurs.
What is important about this is that a police officer is seen as an impartial reporter in the accident. He or she is not taking sides, which means that the information provided is often considered as much more reliable and they report of either you or the other person involved in the accident.
In addition, many have been known to embellish their story a bit, maybe even get in some other kind of accident later on that damages their car further, and they blame you for that. If a person can do or say something to put something in their favor, they will, especially during a car accident lawsuit.
What Information Does a Police Report Contain?
This document is an official report by the officer which includes all relevant details related to the accident, and may even include photographs depending upon the severity of the accident.
The police report will include such things as the time of accident, who was involved in the accident, where the accident occurred, and any damages that may have resulted.
It will also include the officer’s observations, including whether he or she issued a citation, found that one party may be at fault, and any other factors involved in the accident.
This report is absolutely vital, especially if you will be seeking a claim from an insurance company. Just having a document from the other driver explaining what happened may not be solid enough evidence in the view of your insurance company.
Having that police report to support any assertions you are making really bolsters your claims before the insurance provider.
How Long Does it Take to Receive the Report?
Police officers understand that this report is vital when making insurance claims or when you are required to go to court related to the accident. This is why they show all due diligence to complete the report as quickly as possible.
This is usually completed within 3 to 5 business days of the accident. At least, a preliminary report will be written during that time should you need some initial documentation to file with the court or with your insurance company.
However, you should be aware that this is not always the case. Some police departments operate under different procedures and guidelines, which can mean that the report can take up to four weeks before it is finally concluded.
In an instance where there is a severe accident that has led to death, this can stand in the way of a person being able to file a death benefit claim with their insurance company since they do not have the official police report.
This can make it so that it could be months before they receive the insurance settlement, which may put a real hardship on the family. If there is a need to wait on reports, like a toxicology or an autopsy, this can extend the time the police officer has to complete the report to months, maybe even a year or longer. That is clearly unacceptable.
A personal injury lawyer can be of significant help in these kinds of circumstances, by working with the Police Department to make sure that the documentation is completed in a timely manner.What you will find is that when an attorney is involved most governmental agencies get things done much faster.
Reports get completed quicker, tests are processed faster, and documentation is provided in a manner that doesn’t seem to be completed as quickly when one is seeking this kind of documentation on their own.
Call Our Personal Injury Team at (480) 467-4392 to discuss your case today.