As the occupant of a passenger vehicle, it is common to blame the driver of a truck for causing the collision. Most people will even assume that the police will validate this idea. As a truck accident lawyer might explain to you, this is not necessarily true.
A Police Report for a Truck Accident
A police officer has many different roles, with one of the primary ones being to protect the people. It is safe to say that police generally are more concerned with criminal activity than traffic accidents that result in a civil litigation issue. Because of this, it is possible for a police report to lack important details or be inaccurate all together. If you believe your police report is not true, or includes errors, and the likelihood of winning your case largely depends on the report, you might encounter some problems.
On the other hand, even if your police report is accurate, it might not include the information that a truck accident lawyer needs. This is not because the police officer didn’t do their job, but rather, it is not their job to make sure the report contains the details needed for a claim or lawsuit. It is also not the job of a police officer to determine whether or not you can pursue compensation.
Why Do You Need a Police Report?
When a police officer arrives at the scene, they will call for medical help if it has not already been done. Depending on the circumstances, the police may take measurements of the scene, as well as photos. If there were any witnesses, a statement may be taken. With this information, the police officer will prepare a police report. Included in this report may be the opinion of the officer in regards to how the accident happened and who may be at fault.
The insurance company will review the report to gain an understanding of what happened; however, it is not the only document they will examine.
It should be noted that when an accident does not warrant a private investigation, the police report may be called upon. Any good truck accident lawyer knows that the report may not be accurate. That being said, what is included could affect the outcome of your case.
For example, if the police officer concluded you were at fault for the truck accident, any negotiations between you and the insurance company could be significantly hindered. If you or a truck accident lawyer believes the opinion of the officer is incorrect, a private investigation may need to be pursued.
The civil court is known to lean towards the opinions of a police report. That said, just because the report might say you are to blame does not necessarily mean damages are not available. It also does not mean that there were no mistakes made. Police officers are very busy professionals, and also humans. They can make errors. If you think your police report is, in any way inaccurate, please ask a truck accident lawyer to review your case.
Thanks to our friends from Cohen & Cohen for their insight into truck accident cases.