During the free case review, one of the most important documents a Cincinnati car accident lawyer needs to see is the police report. This is the official document prepared by the law enforcement officers who investigated the car crash.
Here is why it is so important for the successful settlement of your accident claim:
1. Legal Obligation to Report the Crash
Traffic laws in Ohio oblige drivers to report any accident resulting in bodily injury, death and/or property damage valued at $1,000 or more. Failure to do so is breaking the law, and this is an important weapon in the hands of an insurance adjuster handling your case.
Your attorney will not have many arguments against this reason to deny your claim.
2. Record of the Time and Place of the Crash
The accident report contains the place and the time when the police officers arrived at the scene to investigate. This is crucial for proving causation. Your lawyer will match these coordinates with the location of the ER or hospital where you received first aid and with the time of the initial medical examination.
The proximity, both in terms of place and time, is essential for showing that your injuries were caused by the car crash, nor by a separate accident.
This is one of the tactics insurance adjusters use when their client’s fault for the crash is beyond doubt: saying that you were injured in a different accident. Without a police report, it is very hard to disprove this claim.
3. The Accident Report Contains Valuable Findings about the Crash
Police officers are trained to observe every aspect of a crash scene in a Cincinnati car accident. They will note the positions of the vehicles, the visible damages to each car, and any other circumstances that may have contributed to the crash:
- Wet/icy road
- Debris or obstacles on the road.
The officers will also note the position and length of the skid marks, allowing them to determine if one of the drivers was speeding or whether they tried to avoid the collision at all.
These are very valuable findings for your attorney. Even if liability is not clear, the police report will help accident reconstruction experts recreate the crash in video animation and present their opinions in the attached report.
4. The Report Includes Eyewitnesses’ Names and Contact Details
During the investigation of the crash, the law enforcement officers will speak with any eyewitnesses and write down their statements and contact details. If you were too badly hurt to be able to talk to them, the accident report is the only document allowing your Cincinnati car accident attorney to get in touch with them.
In some cases, during a second retelling of what they saw, people mention aspects that they may have overlooked in the heat of the moment. This is why lawyers always want to speak with eyewitnesses, even if they’ve already given a statement.
5. The Police Report Is a Reliable and Unbiased Piece of Evidence
An insurance adjuster may accuse you of exaggerating your injuries and damages. They may even claim that you doctored photos taken at the crash scene. But they will have no objection to make to the findings included in the police report.
This is why you must make sure you get a copy of this report and show it to your attorney. It is extremely important for proving your claim and negotiating a fair settlement.
Bring All the Evidence to a Skilled Cincinnati Car Accident Lawyer!
After a car accident, you may be too injured or emotionally numb to remember taking photos and videos or speaking to eyewitnesses. However, the police officers will do their job and include all the details they observed at the crash scene in the accident report.
This is why you must always remember to request a copy as soon as the report is available and bring it to the initial appointment with a Cincinnati car accident lawyer. After examining it, the attorney will determine if you have a valid case and represent you on a contingency fee basis.
We also offer each new client a free case evaluation, so call us today at 844-853-7373!