One of the first things you or someone else should do after being involved in a motor vehicle accident – even a minor accident – is to call 9-1-1 as soon as possible. By calling 9-1-1, the police and paramedics will immediately be dispatched to the scene of the accident.
The police can be very helpful at the scene of the accident as well as after the accident, and their reports and in-court testimony can help to streamline your personal injury case – especially in terms of proving liability1 (i.e. fault) for the accident.
If you or someone you love has sustained personal injuries as a result of someone else’s negligence in a Clearwater motor vehicle accident, our lawyers are here to help. Dolman Law Group auto accident attorneys will be able to discuss all of the facts and circumstances of your case with you and collect the necessary evidence, including police reports, which may be necessary to successfully prove liability and damages in your case.
You should always remember that while the insurance company may talk a good game, its main goal is to pay out as little as possible in satisfaction of your personal injury2 claim. The less money the insurance company shells out on your behalf, the more money it is able to keep in-house to distribute to its shareholders.
The lawyers at Dolman Law Group are skilled negotiators and litigators, and they are very familiar with the insurance company’s strategies and tactics. Our experienced auto accident lawyers can help you to obtain the necessary documentary and witness evidence, enabling you to maximize the value of your case, either via settlement or at trial.
Benefits of Police Investigation Post-Accident
Police reports and police officer testimony at trial can be very helpful after sustaining injuries in a motor vehicle accident. Some of the most important ways in which police officers can be helpful include the following:
- Police officers can assist the drivers with exchanging information. Following a motor vehicle accident, the involved drivers typically exchange their license and car insurance information with one another. This information is essential if the driver (or any of the driver’s passengers) plan on making a claim for property damage and/or personal injuries sustained in the accident. A police officer can facilitate this exchange of information and can even prepare an Exchange of Information Report, documenting that all of this took place.
- Police officers can prepare a police report if injuries were sustained in the accident. The report prepared by a police officer following a motor vehicle accident typically describes the location of the vehicles, identifies the make and model of each vehicle, identifies the driver and owner of each vehicle involved, identifies any eyewitnesses to the occurrence, provides each driver’s address (and sometimes insurance) information, and usually provides a narrative description of how the accident occurred. The police officer may also assign fault to one of the drivers listed in the report. Addendums to the police report may also include witness statements, providing a summary of the police officer’s discussions with eyewitnesses to the occurrence. All of this information can potentially be helpful in proving liability – or fault – for the accident.
- The police officer can detail the injuries and symptoms that the plaintiff was experiencing at the accident scene. When a police officer arrives at the scene of a motor vehicle accident, the officer usually asks the drivers how they are feeling and if they are in any pain. When the drivers respond to the officer’s question, the officer may include that information in the police report – especially in cases where the pain and injuries are severe and one or more drivers must be taken to the hospital by ambulance. This can be helpful later on in the case when an insurance company is investigating the accident. When an injured plaintiff goes directly to the hospital from the scene of the accident via ambulance, it typically indicates that the accident victim was seriously injured and sought medical treatment immediately – as opposed to waiting several days to go to the hospital and seek medical treatment.
- A police officer can serve as a witness in court if liability is in dispute. In some personal injury car crash cases, there is a dispute as to who caused the accident. In some instances, the other driver’s insurance company may be alleging that their driver was not responsible for the accident at all. In other cases, the insurance company may be alleging that the plaintiff contributed to the accident (e.g., by speeding or engaging in distracted driving) and that the plaintiff’s recovery should be reduced according to his or her percentage of fault for causing the accident. Especially in cases where the police officer was an eyewitness to the accident, the officer could be called upon at trial to describe his or her observations and/or to authenticate the contents of the police report so that it may be admitted into evidence.
- A police officer may be able to follow-up with the plaintiff accident victim after the accident. Following a motor vehicle accident, there are often some loose ends that need to be tied. Police officers routinely visit accident victims while they are in the hospital recuperating from their injuries (or at their homes following the accident), in order to fill in the blanks in their police reports or to obtain additional information about the motor vehicle crash and how the crash occurred. All of that information can be helpful when it comes to proving liability.
Contact a Clearwater Personal Injury Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case
Auto accident cases can be complicated, especially when multiple drivers are involved in the crash. Our Clearwater personal injury attorneys can assist you with obtaining all of the documentary evidence, including police reports and favorable witness statements, that you need in order to be successful in your case and maximize your personal injury recovery.
Our personal injury lawyers can also negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. If a favorable settlement is not reached, our experienced personal injury attorneys welcome the opportunity to litigate your case and take it to trial, if necessary.
You can contact the attorneys at Dolman Law Group by calling 727-451-6900 or by sending us an email through our online contact form.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765