Serious injuries after a car accident may lead you to experiencing a myriad of financial and physical difficulties. Though your insurance may cover some of the expenses resulting from your needed medical care and other damages, you may need to take further legal steps if your injuries require extensive medical attention. Luckily, you have the option of filing a personal injury claim against the party considered at fault.
When it comes to following such a legal path, having useful documents relating to your accident may allow you to better build your case. One document that could prove immensely beneficial when it comes to stating the facts of the accident is a police report.
Police report information
If police came to the scene of your accident – which is often the case after a serious crash – officers likely created a police report. This type of report often contains information relating to the circumstances of the crash, such as time, date, weather conditions and location. Additionally, the officer who created the report may include observations he or she had at the scene and draw an initial conclusion as to who may have been at fault.
Furthermore, a police report may also contain contact information for individuals who witnessed the incident as well as for those parties directly involved in the crash. This information may prove useful if you wish to file a lawsuit against the driver considered at fault or an insurance agency, as contacting witnesses and obtaining statements and testimonies may bolster your case.
Obtaining a police report
In order to obtain a copy of the police report, you may have various options. A responding officer may have provided you with direct contact information and instruction on how to go about getting a copy of the report. If not, you may contact the police department that responded to your accident and request a copy. In many cases, you may have to pick up the report in person, or the department may mail you a copy.
Using a report in court
During civil legal proceedings, the court may not consider the report itself admissible evidence. However, that does not mean you should forgo obtaining and reviewing the report. You may need to ensure that the information provided in the report correctly reflects the facts of the incident, and the report may provide you with information that could allow you to take other steps in order to build your case, like – as mentioned – speaking with witnesses.
If filing a personal injury claim seems like an avenue you wish to follow, you may also wish to consult with an experienced West Virginia attorney. A legal professional could provide you with additional information on how a police report could prove useful to your case as well as help you understand other steps available for pursuing compensation for your injuries, expenses and other damages.