Nashville Car Accidents: Why You Need A Police Report
When you’re in a car accident, no matter how minor it seems, one of the first things you should always do—if not the very first—is to call first responders. Get police on the scene and make sure that you and any witnesses present give them a statement.
Too many people think that after a minor accident there’s no reason to talk to the police. Just exchange information and go on your separate ways. The truth is, however, you never know how an accident is going to proceed after the event, and that police report can be a vital tool in pursuing your case for damages down the line. Explore the reasons why you need a police report after a car crash, what it can and cannot be used, and why an injury lawyer is important to your case.
Injuries That Can Occur During A Car Accident
Whiplash is one of the most common injuries sustained in a car accident. It is caused by a sudden jerking movement of the head or neck, due to the force of the car accident. Symptoms of whiplash include neck and shoulder pain, headache, dizziness, and blurred vision. Depending on the severity of the car accident, the whiplash may heal on its own or may require physical therapy or surgery.
Broken bones are another common injury sustained in a car accident. Broken bones can range from minor fractures to more serious breaks, and may require surgery to correct. In some cases, the broken bones may not heal correctly and may require physical therapy and rehabilitation to restore full function.
Cuts And Bruises
Cuts and bruises are another type of injury that can occur in a car accident. These types of injuries are typically minor and do not require medical attention. However, cuts and bruises can be painful and can leave scars, so they should be taken seriously and treated accordingly.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries are one of the most serious injuries sustained in a car accident. These types of injuries are caused by a sudden jolt to the head that can cause the brain to shake inside the skull, resulting in swelling and bruising. Symptoms of traumatic brain injuries include headaches, vomiting, confusion, seizures, and loss of consciousness.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are another serious injury that can occur in a car accident. These types of injuries are caused when the spinal cord is damaged due to the force of a car accident. Symptoms of spinal cord injuries include numbness, paralysis, and difficulty breathing.
Internal injuries are another type of injury that can occur in a car accident. These types of injuries are caused when the internal organs are damaged due to the force of the car accident. Symptoms of internal injuries include abdominal pain, nausea, and difficulty breathing. If left untreated, internal injuries can be life-threatening.
A minor accident, depending on the location of the accident, can also cause the responsible party and other drivers involved to sustain sprains or lacerations. These can be easily treated with antibiotics and other medical care.
What a Police Report Does after a Car Accident
Following a car accident, a police report is an important document. It is taken right there, at the scene, so it will have accurate times, dates, and observations taken down at the scene by the people involved.
If you call first responders, the local police department on the scene are required to take and file a report of the incident, which you can then access simply by contacting the local P.D. in the area where you had the accident. This document can be invaluable.
Keeping Your Facts Straight
As mentioned earlier, the police report will have current information as to the date and time the accident took place. This means when it comes time for you to fill out various papers, answer insurance or medical questions, or the like, you will have access to information that is correct and current.
It can also be vital for you to keep your story straight. You’re going to have to answer the same questions from different people, and sometimes from the same people on different occasions. You don’t want inconsistencies in your story, and memory fades with time. Having access to the report helps you remember exactly what happened.
Record of Evidence and Witnesses
The police report may also contain observations and lists of evidence at the scene. It will also contain information about any witnesses who gave statements, which can be important if your lawyer needs to contact them to help testify. Car accident police reports can also serve as evidence.
The report can be a useful tool when your attorney negotiates with the insurance company about the facts of the case. This backup of your version of the facts can be important in getting you a larger settlement.
Compensation negotiations in a car crash typically take place between drivers in the accident and their respective coverages. In order to begin the process of negotiating a settlement, everyone must first file a police report detailing the car accident.
This police report may be used by the insurance company to determine who is at fault for the crash and the extent of the damages. Additionally, drivers may wish to seek out an experienced car accident lawyer to help advise them on their rights and the best course of action for resolving the issue.
During the negotiations, drivers in the car crash may present evidence such as medical bills and police reports to the insurance company. A personal account from a police officer on the scene may work as well. The police officer can relay the accounts of the collision with clear detail and recount the actions of all drivers involved.
People may also need to provide evidence of any property damage or other losses they have suffered due to the car crash.
Once the drivers, insurance companies, and law enforcement have reached an agreement on the amount of compensation, the agency will then draft a settlement agreement. This agreement will outline the terms of the settlement, such as the amount of money to be paid to the parties involved and any other relevant information.
Once the agreement has been signed by both parties involved, the insurance company will then process the claim and issue a compensation payment.
The process of negotiating a compensation settlement following an auto accident can be complicated. For this reason, it is important to seek assistance from an experienced car accident lawyer who can provide guidance and advice throughout the process.
An experienced lawyer can help ensure that the parties involved receive the compensation they deserve for the damages and losses they have suffered as a result of the auto accident.
Do You Need A Police Report After A Car Accident?
In most states, wrongful death claims resulting from an auto accident must usually be filed within two years of the date of death, which is why it’s important to obtain a police report as soon as possible. Additionally, the report can help establish the other party’s liability, which is necessary in order to file a wrongful death claim.
It’s important to note that some states have shorter statutes of limitations for wrongful death claims, so it’s important to check with a local attorney if you need more information on the specific laws of your state.
The Benefits Of Filing A Police Report
Filing a police report is one of the most important steps you can take following a car accident. A law enforcement officer will arrive at the scene to document the details of the accident, including any injuries, damages, and other information relevant to the case.
These reports can then be used as evidence if you decide to pursue a wrongful death claim. Police reports can also provide vital information to local police departments in order to help them better understand the circumstances of the accident and to help determine liability.
Official accounts can also be used to help establish a timeline of the events that occurred and to help provide clarity in cases where the accident occurred in a public place.
Police reports are also important for filing an insurance claim and for helping to protect the rights of everyone involved. Finally, police reports can help protect victims and their families by providing a record of the accident that can be used in court.
Insurance Claims And Personal Injury Claims
When an individual is involved in a car accident, insurance claims and personal injury claims often intersect. A law enforcement officer will be called to the scene of the accident to assess the situation and create a police report. This report typically includes an officer’s observations, as well as details about the drivers and any passengers involved in the accident.
The accident report is a key document when it comes to filing insurance claims and personal injury claims. Insurance claims are based on the information contained in the police report, while personal injury claims are based on the severity of the injury or damages incurred by the victim. For example, in a minor car accident, the police report may show that there was no injury, and therefore a personal injury claim would not be necessary.
However, if the accident report reveals that a passenger or driver sustained a significant injury, then a personal injury claim may be necessary in order to receive compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages.
It is important to note that the accident report is only one part of the claims process and that further evidence may be needed in order to determine the outcome of a claim.
What It Cannot Do
What a police report cannot do is be used as evidence if your case goes to trial. This is because it’s a third-party report based on what other people said. In legal terms, this is called hearsay. The officer didn’t see the accident, so their testimony is just a record of what you and others said. It can, however, help to back up what other people said and to keep track of who needs to be called to testify.
If you’ve been in an accident, first call the police. Then call an attorney like those at Mitch Grissm and Associates. For years we’ve helped people across Tennessee get compensated for their car accident injuries and we can help you. Give us a call today.