A police report is a routine procedure following accidents in which someone was injured or killed, especially accidents that happen on a public highway.
Police are much more likely to attend a vehicle accident if the accident causes a blockage on the road and traffic is held up. They also turn up to investigate if there has been an injury or a fatality. If the accident scene is attended by police, then they will almost certainly compile a report about the accident, identifying who or what happened based on what they can see at the scene of the accident. That report can later on prove to be a valuable piece of evidence that can make or break a personal injury claim if you so choose to make one.
How do you get your hands on a police report?
If you have been injured in any kind of vehicle accident and are taken to a hospital or to a medical facility before police arrive at the scene, then you may be wondering how you can go about getting a copy of the police report, assuming one was made. You are entitled to obtain a police report, although in most cases, there will be a small fee involved for either emailing or mailing a copy of the report to you. You will need to know the agency or department involved in investigating the accident. It is most likely to be either the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) or the city police.
In or around Nashville, for example, this would be the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department. The report would have been made out, in this case, by officers from one of the four city precincts (East, West, Central and South). If you are unsure which jurisdiction to contact, come and talk to one of our personal injury attorneys at the Keith Williams Law group here in Nashville. We will do our best to find out which authority was responsible for compiling a police report into the accident you were involved in.
Once the correct department is identified, you can either call in personally, phone them or go online to request a copy of the police report. There will be a small fee involved, typically $4 or $10 per report, a small amount to pay when there may be hundreds or thousands of dollars in compensation possibly dependent on evidence of this nature.
Why a police report is so valuable
If you have been injured in any kind of accident and you were not to blame for the accident, you may be able to file a personal injury claim if you know who was at fault and who their insurer was, assuming that the at-fault party was insured, of course. Personal injury claims depend on proving negligence, i.e. proving that someone else’s actions were responsible for your injury. This is never easy, even if you are quite confident that someone else was at fault. In many ways, a vehicle accident lends itself to personal injury claims because it is much more likely that a police report will be completed. This can provide vital evidence that can convince an insurance adjuster that a claim is valid and that the insurer’s client was liable.
The police report, for a start, will be viewed with less suspicion than say, a report from someone who was a passenger in your vehicle, or even an eye witness. Apart from the report having more authority than other types of evidence, the report will also provide information about:
- who the drivers were;
- what caused the accident;
- who was most at fault;
- whether there were any witnesses;
- whether the vehicles were damaged;
- whether the people in the vehicles were damaged;
- any other relevant information.
Don’t expect to obtain compensation just by submitting a police report to the insurer of the person or people you believe to be at fault. You will most likely need more evidence than that. The best advice is to arrange a free consultation with one of our car accident attorneys at the Keith Williams Law Group in Nashville to discuss your legal options and what you need to support a claim for compensation. Do not hesitate to contact the Keith Williams Law Group at (615) 313-3999.