In Kentucky, a police officer’s written accident report can be a pivotal source of information in any case involving injuries suffered in a motor vehicle accident. Both the opposing insurance company and our office depend heavily on the information contained in police accident reports, especially in the context of who caused the crash.
Police officers are trained in investigating and evaluating motor vehicle accidents. Having a police officer at the scene of an accident operates to provide a detailed and unbiased third party who can observe the evidence and record his or her observations. If you know how to read such a report, it gives detailed information about the crash. Some of the important information that a Kentucky accident report will contain includes:
- The date, time and location of the crash
- Weather conditions at the time
- The points of impact of the vehicles
- The names and contact information of the parties and witnesses
- Insurance policy numbers of the drivers
- A narrative description of how the accident occurred along with a diagram
- Any admission of fault by one of the drivers involved in the crash
- Whether anybody involved in the crash was transported to a hospital by ambulance
- Whether any traffic citations were issued and what they were issued for
The report will also indicate whether anybody was visibly injured or complaining of injuries from the crash. When used with medical records and reports along with entries on the location and extent of property damage, police accident reports are also of help in determining the nature and extent of a claimant’s injuries.
Admissibility into evidence
The general rule in Kentucky is that a police officer’s written accident report is a hearsay document and inadmissible into evidence in a trial. With the proper foundation being laid, a police officer can use his or her report of an accident for purposes of refreshing their recollection of the event that was investigated. It’s highly unlikely that a jury would see the actual report itself. Since the overwhelming majority of personal injury cases are settled out of court, police reports are a remarkably valuable tool in the disposition of such cases.
No report results in a very difficult case
Without a police accident report, it’s difficult to establish fault, and you might not even be able to show that an accident occurred. The driver who was at fault can argue that if an accident indeed did occur, your vehicle was either already damaged, or the damage wasn’t as severe as you claim. That’s an attack on your credibility and the validity of your personal injury claim. If the other driver wasn’t insured, you’ll likely be required to make an uninsured motorist claim with your own insurance. That’s when your own insurance company turns into your opponent.
Always call 911
A person who caused a collision might have any number of reasons for not wanting to have police called to the scene. Never get talked out of it. You can call police immediately yourself. The contents of a Kentucky police report are usually the crucial information that’s weighed in our decision on whether or not to undertake the representation of somebody in a personal injury case. Then comes the endeavor of proving what’s in that report.
Contact a Kentucky Car Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been seriously injured in a motor vehicle collision that was the fault of somebody else, you can contact us for a free consultation and case evaluation. Feel free to contact us even if the report is not yet ready or you do not yet have a copy. Even if you partially to blame in the accident, it is important to speak to an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible after the accident. We work with clients in Louisville and Lexington and throughout the entire State of Kentucky and southern Indiana, too.