A police report may be required as a part of the injury claim after a car accident. Although these reports admissible in court, they can still have a significant impact on your case. Let’s discuss how to get a copy of a police report and use it to strengthen your personal injury claim.
Obtaining a police report
As mentioned above, you cannot present a police report in court to prove that someone’s fault caused your injury. However, obtaining this report and using it before you bring your claim into court can help you significantly with your case.
If you know which law enforcement agency came to the accident scene to prepare a report, you can call on the non-emergency number of that agency to ask for a copy of the police report. In some cases, you may even request a copy online. Regardless of how you request a police report, you will not have to pay a larger amount to get that report.
Using a police report to gain an advantage in your personal injury case
Police reports can be very useful in personal injury claims despite their inadmissibility in court. You can put this report in the file along with other documents such as medical reports and other important records. You can also draft a demand letter to the company representing the at-fault driver. This letter will summarize case facts, explain your injuries, and demand compensation for your injuries during the accident. A police report can serve as an effective settlement tool if it indicates that the opposing party was at fault.
Another benefit of a police report is that it tends to provide crucial information about your case. This report typically specifies the date of the accident, names of witnesses, weather, and other information about surroundings. While you cannot use this report in front of the jury, you can provide reference to the witnesses. Those witnesses can record informal statements about their observations.
An inadmissible hearsay
You may wonder why you cannot use a police report in court. That is because a police report is considered hearsay in personal injury cases. That makes it an inadmissible reference. Wondering why is that so? That is generally because a police officer did not observe the incident directly. The officer had to get evidence from other people, including drivers and witnesses, to formulate a police report.
Another reason for the inadmissibility of the report is that it cannot be subjected to cross-examination in the courtroom. The key principle of any civil court is that the other party should have a chance to question any evidence present in front of the jury. That kind of scrutiny is not possible with a police report.
That, however, doesn’t nullify the importance of a police report. Just because it can’t be presented in court doesn’t mean you cannot use it to your advantage in your case. Moreover, you can get information from this report and gather its details to show in court. That will help you win your personal injury case.