If you have been injured in a car accident caused by the negligence of another driver, you can file a personal injury claim to hold the other driver liable for your damages. This can be crucial, as it helps you and your family cope with the long aftermath of your accident. Of course, before you can recover any compensation, you must prove that the accident was the other driver’s fault. This isn’t always easy.
In the chaotic moments after a car accident, it can be extremely difficult, even dangerous to try to take photos, interview witnesses or otherwise gather evidence. If you have been injured in the accident, it may be impossible.
For these reasons, many car accident cases rely heavily on police reports.
Typically, police officers report to the scene of an accident when someone has been injured, although they sometimes show up at accidents that only caused property damage. Generally, police examine the scene of the accident, take measurements, interview witnesses about what they saw, and often ask for witnesses’ opinions on who might have caused the accident. Police then write up a summary, which often includes their opinion of who was at fault for the accident.
Sometimes it is necessary for a lawyer to interview witnesses or go to the scene of an accident, even if the mess has long since been cleared away, in order to gather new evidence.
In some other cases, traffic laws may make it clear who was at fault. For example, a rear-end collision is almost never the fault of the driver in front.
No two car accident cases are exactly alike. Talk to a personal injury lawyer about your case and how the law may apply to your unique set of facts.