If you believe there is an error on a car accident police report, you should seek an Indiana car accident attorney as soon as possible.
No process is perfect, and that includes police reports. But the challenge presented in this situation is that there is not another written account of the accident to reference. Instead, your attorney will do an in-depth investigation to recreate the accident scene and prove what happened.
A police report is just one piece of evidence in a car accident case. Here’s what you and your attorney can do when a police report isn’t enough to prove your claim.
Maintaining Witness and Victim Contact Information
After a car accident, you should collect contact information for everyone involved and any witnesses. This includes passengers in any of the vehicles involved.
When a police report offers insufficient evidence of what happened, witness accounts will play a larger role in proving your case. Maintain records of contact information carefully. These might become your key piece of information.
Your attorney will want to interview witnesses as soon as possible after the accident while the details are still fresh in their minds. Be sure to provide these to your attorney as soon as possible.
Typical Evidence in Car Accident Claims
If an injury claim lawsuit goes to trial, the burden of proof is on the victim to prove the case. That means that you’ll need extremely compelling evidence for the insurance company to feel compelled to negotiate a settlement and make the case go away without a lawsuit.
Therefore, the more evidence you have, the smoother your claim will likely move along, and the more likely that the insurance company will work with you to reach favorable terms.
Some examples of car accident evidence include:
- The police report, which should be based on what law enforcement observes and their interviews with victims and witnesses.
- Employment records if the crash involves a commercial driver.
- Witness accounts.
- Photos of the accident scene, including skid marks on the road, vehicle debris in the roadway, traffic signals, the intersection, etc.
- Vehicle damage reports and images.
- Medical bills and doctor’s notes showing the extent of your injuries following an accident.
- Medical diagnostic tests, such as x-rays or MRIs.
- Victim journal detailing medical treatment required, pain levels, etc.
- W-2 and employment information for the victim proving regular wages to calculate the expense of missed work.
- Interrogatories or statements the other party involved in the accident makes while under oath. Generally, a court reporter transcribes these statements.
When Does Indiana Law Require a Car Accident Report?
It is in your best interest to call 911 after an accident and try to get a police report on file. What might look like a mild fender bender could have more severe damage underneath the bumpers on your car. And while you might feel fine right now, you might discover late-onset injuries in a few days.
However, you should also know that Indiana law requires that you file a police report if any of the three criteria exist.
- The accident traps someone in the vehicle or causes injuries or death
- There is at least $1,000 in property damage
- The crash involves abandoned property or you can’t find the property’s owner
Concerns over the accuracy of a police report should not keep you from filing one. Your attorney can work to prove what happened using other forms of evidence listed above.
Unsure of how to proceed with your car accident claim? Schedule a free consultation with Stewart & Stewart. Whether you’re concerned about an error in a police report or want to know more about how to interact with the insurance company, we’ll be your guide and protect your rights.