No Need to Wait for a Police Report to Start Your Case
Not at a day goes by at our firm without a prospective client asking the question, "Can I get started on my case now or do we have to wait for the police report to be finalized?" The answer to this question is no. Police reports can be helpful summaries of what happened in a wreck, but they are not the infallible word of the Almighty as many people believe. In this article, we're going to explain how pursuing a case without a report works, why police reports are not all they're cracked up to be, and what the law says about your right to pursue a claim immediately.
Questions answered on this page:
- Do I need a police report to start my case?
- Are police reports the only determining factor in my car accident case?
- What other types of evidence can I use in lieu of a police accident report?
- Why do I need a lawyer in my case?
Police Reports Aren't the Gospel
Remember when you were in elementary school and you would have to write book reports? Book reports, as you'll likely recall, were essentially just a not-very-thorough summary of a book. They mentioned some of the highlight, maybe even the general theme, but they were not really great at telling the story itself. Well, just the same way that you would not get a full picture of Treasure Island by reading someone's book report about it, a jury cannot get a full understanding of what happened in your accident from reading a police report. Simply put, police reports are basically book reports for your accident. They mention the broad strokes, but all the magic comes from the details.
Further, the court does not view police officers as special persons. We think that cops are usually a couple cuts above the average citizen, but the court pays them no special homage. The opinion of a police officer is not binding on the court, and, in fact, it is considered equal to all other witnesses. More to the point, our attorneys have won numerous cases where the police erroneously said our client was at fault, and we've won numerous cases where the was no police report at all. The bottom line is that police reports are simply not the instrument of justice that popular culture as led you to believe they are. If your accident has one, that's great. If it doesn't, of if it's not yet complete, that's nothing to be concerned about.
Alternate Ways of Proving a Case without a Police Report
There are multiple ways to prove your version of events in a car accident case without having a police report. While the parties directly involved in the car accident typically disagree about who is at fault and the chain of events that led to the wreck, there are often third-party witnesses who saw first-hand what happened.
However, the inherent problem with police reports, and even witness statements, is that you must rely on another person's account of what they perceived to have occurred. The issue is that many car accidents happen so fast that we are easily confused as to what actually took place. People may not intentionally misrepresent what occurred, but can easily be confused about what truly happened.
As such, forensics and other data can be relied upon, and juries typically find such evidence to be more compelling. Telling the story of your accident with an advanced acident recreation video will usually do a better job than a police report, and this is something our firm has the resources to do.
Further, video taken by surveillance cameras, cell phones, and traffic cameras is becoming more and more available as the world becomes digitized. is another useful tool in determining what exactly happened and who is at fault. With surveillance video, we do not have to rely on another person's perception of what actually occurred. Recorded and documented video tape can reveal the truth of the matter. What is even better is that, with modern technology, many videos can be manipulated so that certain footage can be repeatedly viewed or even zoomed in on to see specific details.
Another option for proving a car accident without the use of a police report is physical evidence. A car accident usually produces large amounts of evidence. The car itself is evidence and so is any debris that may have broken off in the collision. Additionally, the street can often be physical evidence if there are any skid marks from tires suddenly braking and sliding across the pavement. And one of the best ways of proving this evidence is using expert analysis at trial. Educated and trained experts can examine the damage to your car, the remaining evidence in the street, and even your physical injuries to asses exactly what happened during the accident. This is one of the best ways to prove what exactly occurred during a car wreck and who should be responsible for damages.
Our Car Accident Attorneys Know the Realities of Police Reporting
The trial process can be very complex and you will need an attorney who can provide you with expert witnesses to testify on your behalf. An expert witness can combat the possibly erroneous accounts that might be listed on the police report. If you have been involved in a car accident or truck accident, contact Grossman Law Offices at (855) 326-0000 .
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