Police Report Effect on Your Ability to Win Your Car Wreck Case
The short answer is, YES. You should assume that all the information gathered at the scene of your car crash will have an effect on your ability to win your car wreck case! The Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report is the form that the investigating officer completes when investigating a car crash. While a Police Officer’s opinions are not conclusive in determining who was at fault for causing the auto accident, the information found on the report could affect your ability to resolve your case with the insurance company.
Is The Officer Taking Down Your Statement Correctly?
Even though you may be experiencing a lot of emotion and you may possibly be dealing with a lot of pain, you have to try your best to explain the events as you recall them happening immediately before the crash. If someone else was with you in the vehicle and they know how the crash happened, it may be a good idea to let them explain how the crash occurred until you are able to calm down. If you were alone and you are not calm enough to explain your version of the events, ask the officer if you could have some time to gather your thoughts before you start answering questions. This way you can be sure that you are giving the best account of the facts of the accident which will help the officer reach a conclusion on who was at fault.
Were There Any Witnesses?
Several clients have told us that after the accident someone came up to them and told them that they saw how the crash happened and they would be willing to provide a statement. Unfortunately, when we receive the police officer’s accident report, there are no witnesses listed on the report.
In your involved in a car crash and someone comes up to you to tell you that they witnessed the accident, you need to do what you can to persuade them to wait for the investigating police officers to arrive. If that person is unwilling to stay, you can ask them if they would provide you with their contact information so that you can provide it to the police officer. If they seem very willing to help but can’t stay, you could ask them to write down an account of what they saw and sign and date it. They should include their contact information at the bottom of the page.
The investigating officer can consider the information from the witnesses when completing his report and so it’s important that he has access to the all information that he can get his hands on at the scene of the crash.
Were there any Passengers in the Vehicles Involved?
It is very important that you do not forget to tell the officer that there was more if there was someone traveling with you in the vehicle. We have seen crash reports where the investigation officer had forgotten to include the information for a passenger that was also traveling in the vehicle. When this happens, it creates an obstacle when we are trying to present a claim for any of the passengers that were also in the car.
Do not forget to speak up for passengers that were in your vehicle at the time of the accident. In the case of young children, you need to try your best to be the voice for them or, it is going to be very difficult to file a claim with the insurance on their behalves.
What Were the Road Conditions Like?
When you are explaining to the officer how you believe the accident happened, do not forget to explain if you believe that the road conditions had any effect on what caused the crash. If the accident happened when hazardous road conditions were present, you need to explain that to officers. The officer will want to know
- if the road was wet;
- if there were construction signs in the area;
- if other vehicles were stalled in the area; or
- if there were pedestrians present.
Information about the road conditions helps an officer determine if the other driver should have adjusted his speed in order have avoided the car accident. If that person did not pay attention to the road conditions, they can be found responsible for causing the accident. These conditions need to be pointed out to the officer at the scene of the accident so that they are properly records in the Peace Officer’s Crash Report.
How Can A Car Accident Lawyer Help Protect Your Case?
Sandoval Law Firm, PLLC can help by gathering all the information above in a timely manner. We can interview witnesses, the investigating police officer and all the passengers involved. We can also request the file from the investigating police agency so that we can get copies of all the information the officer took down at scene of the crash. After we have gathered all this information and presented it to the insurance company for the negligent driver, we will file your lawsuit and protect your rights!