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The Role of Police Reports in a Car Accident Claim

Police reports play a very important role in claiming compensation after a St. Louis car accident.

St. louis police at car accident scene

Some personal injury claims, like compensation claims for car accidents, get credibility from police reports. The police reports play a significant role in proving that your claim is legitimate. They can be very useful at the time of negotiations for compensation for an accident.

How the Police Report May Prove to Be Useful Outside of Court

The police report may not provide an evidence of anything that happened in the accident. But it can be used to arrive at an early settlement of your claims.

In order to get a police report, you can submit a request to the department of police, by calling them or going there personally, to issue a report about your car accident. You will likely have to pay some fees to get the report. In case the police were present at the site of the accident, the report will already be there with them.

Even though a court of law may not give much importance to a police report, it can help in other ways.

Before seeking the help of a lawyer you can strengthen your case by collecting items like:

  • Medical documentation
  • The names of witnesses and their declarations
  • Evidence of loss of income
  • Medical bills as well as statements

Your attorney will use these items and make a rough copy of a demand letter. He will write a summary of the facts, give a vivid description of your injuries, and appeal for recovery of damages from the accountable party. The police report can add credibility to the demand letter.

The Police Report Provides Important Facts

All the important facts about a car accident are provided in a police report. The date, weather conditions, the circumstances under which the accident took place, and the names of the witnesses are generally specified in the report.

Your lawyer can easily use this information for your benefit. He can contact the witnesses and collect their testimony.

Are Police Reports Irrelevant?

You may be surprised to know that police reports are generally considered hearsay in a court of law and therefore many people think that it is useless to have one. While it is true that people consider police reports to be unacceptable because they are based on word of mouth. They are formulated on the basis of what the witnesses and the involved parties tell the police. For this reason, it can prove extremely useful.

What If Someone Insists That You Not Call the Police?

There are many reasons why another motorist might not want you to call the police after an accident. The reality is that those reasons will almost always work in their favor. They either don’t want the police to be at the scene because they have something to hide – like not having a driver’s license or driving while intoxicated – or it may be that they have tickets on their record and one more will get them in trouble. If a driver offers to settle with you out of court or asks you not to call the police, you now have an even greater reason why you should call the police.

If You Don’t Get a Police Report

There are many potential problems that can arise from not getting a police report. The first might be that the information the other driver gives you could be false. If they give you a fake driver’s license, insurance card, or other identifying information, then you are going to have trouble trying to file a claim against them if the accident is their fault. The other problem is that if there is a question about who is at fault, you won’t have any facts or documentation on your side; at that point it becomes a “he said/she said” kind of scenario, which will likely end up causing a whole lot of issues.

Speak with a St. Louis auto accident attorney ASAP

If you have been involved in a St. Louis auto accident, we have the necessary knowledge and experience to help. Give us a call 24/7 at (314) 361-4242 for a free case evaluation.

Updated: April 11, 2018