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Police reports might help you in a personal injury case

The police officers who respond to your motor vehicle accident will write out a report of the accident. This report will be filed with their police department. You won't be able to get a copy of the report on the scene of the accident, but you will be able to get a copy of it at a later date.

In order to get a copy of the police report, you need to know what police agency the report will be filed with. You might need some specific information about the accident in order to get the report. If possible, ask the police officer what you need to do to obtain a copy of the police report while you are still at the scene of the accident. You might be provided with a card or something similar that has the officer's name and an incident number. Those can prove helpful when you are trying to get a copy of the accident report.

It isn't likely that the police report will be able to be used in court if you end up taking a claim for compensation to the trial phase. Instead, you will need the report to access the information that is on it. You can often get witness information from the police report. That can be very helpful if you were unable to gather that information at the scene.

It is often possible to use the police report during negotiations regarding a settlement if that is something that occurs during your case. The officer's preliminary determination of fault, for example, might help you if that determination notes that the other driver was at fault.

There are a host of facts to consider when you are initiating a claim for compensation after a motor vehicle accident. Knowing what to look for and how to respond to inquiries might help your case.

Source: FindLaw, "Obtaining and Using a Police Report," accessed Aug. 12, 2016

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