The Role of the Police Report in an Auto Accident Injury Claim
If you are involved in a car accident in West Virginia that led to injuries or property damage, it’s important for someone to call the police and have an officer visit the scene to write and file a report. This document can be helpful if you later need to seek compensation for medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and damage to your vehicle or other property.
A police report is typically one of the first items an auto insurance adjuster looks at when dealing with the aftermath of a crash. You and your attorney should also obtain a copy of the report to support your claim. In most cases, these reports are available to the public for a small fee, although there are exceptions when an accident involves criminal matters, such as driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol.
Police reports often contain highly valuable information related to the auto accident, including:
- Time, date and place of the crash
- Details of the crash, including the configuration of the intersection, how many lanes of traffic there were, and where the vehicles were positioned
- Names of all individuals involved, along with witnesses who saw the accident take place
- Weather, road and lighting conditions
- Descriptions of all injuries and property damage involved in the accident
It’s worth noting that police reports simply reflect the officer’s view of what occurred; they usually cannot be submitted as evidence if your case goes to court. However, they are still valuable in settlement proceedings, because they can indicate the strength of your claim and help you obtain fair compensation.
After a serious car accident in West Virginia, consult an experienced personal injury attorney at Kaufman & McPherson, PLLC.