When you discuss your case consultation with a car accident attorney, they’ll likely ask if the police prepared a police report documenting the crash. This is fairly standard, and it’s usually the first question attorneys ask when analyzing your case. But what is a police report, and why is it almost essential to have one after a car crash? Allow us to explain.
Set the Record Straight
A police report helps demonstrate that a car accident occurred and verifies who was involved. When you have a police report, it’s much more difficult for the insurance companies to claim that your injuries and property damages are unrelated to the car crash. Additionally, a police report puts the crash into the public record, serving as a survey of the damages and injuries written by a neutral third party.
A police report will also verify the insurance information of everyone involved in a crash. When you have a police officer taking the other driver’s information, you don’t need to worry whether the information they give you is accurate because it will be run through the police database. This, in turn, significantly reduces the risk of a hit and run and subsequent uninsured driver claim.
Establishing Your Story
The police report not only documents that a crash happened, it typically includes a statement from both driver (and nearby witnesses) shortly after the crash. What drivers say in the moments after the crash can make or break their case, which is why it’s important to keep your comments to a minimum and simply acknowledge the crash happened. A long explanation could possibly be confused in the report and could be hurtful to your claim.
That said, statements from witnesses can also be important because they may have seen the crash from another angle and have a clearer idea of the circumstances leading up to the accident. In some cases, a simple witness statement can have an enormous impact on the injured’s ability to earn a fair recovery.
What If The Police Don’t Come?
Since the pandemic, it has been very difficult to get the NYC police to come to the scene of an accident or to write a report, especially if they don’t believe the injuries are significant. If that happens, you should do the following:
- Take a photo of the scene showing how the cars collided.
- Take photos of all vehicles involved in the accident, including the damage to each vehicle.
- Take a photo of the license plates of the other vehicles.
- Take a photograph of the faces of the drivers of the other vehicles.
- Ask the guilty party to exchange information and if they agree, write down and photograph the information such as driver’s license and insurance card.
- Speak to any witnesses and get their contact information, including name, cell number, and email address. Ask them their cell phone number and dial it from your phone so you know it is accurate.
If you or someone you love were involved in a crash, you need affordable representation from a team you can trust. If you’d like an experienced New York City injury accident attorney from Koenigsberg & Associates Law Offices to evaluate your case, don’t hesitate to call us at (718) 690-3132 or send us an email.