Do I Need a Police Report After an Accident?
You’ve been in a car accident in South Windsor. You’re tired and not significantly injured, and you ask yourself whether you need to file a police report. There are many issues in that question, from legal requirements to potential settlement and litigation consequences. But, the basic answer is yes.
Connecticut Law Requires a Police Report
Connecticut law requires a Uniform Police Crash Report of all motor vehicle accidents. If the accident caused damage exceeding $1000, you must file that report within five days of the accident. However, the officers at the accident scene will file the report immediately, so you won’t have to do so separately. The officers will record all the accident details in the report, and these can help determine fault later on. Plus, they will help you avoid the fine for not filing a timely report.
What Information Is Included in the Police Report?
The police report will include much of the information you need for your insurance claim and any settlement negotiations or litigation arising from the accident. It will include:
- Date, time, and location of the accident
- Officer’s description of the severity of the accident
- Officer’s narrative description of the accident
- Identifying information for the parties involved
- Phone numbers
- Insurance information
- Driver’s license number and class
- Date of birth
- Injuries suffered
- Whether any party was taken to a medical facility
- Identifying information for witnesses
- Description of the damage to the vehicle
- Description of weather and road conditions
- Statements from parties and witnesses
- Diagram of the accident
- Any tickets issues or violations of law
- Officer’s opinion as to cause or fault
This information goes a long way to preparing for your insurance claim or your first consultation with a South Windsor car accident attorney. You can get a copy (if you didn’t get one at the scene) from the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection website.
Insurance Company Investigation
Every insurance company involved in handling claims for your accident will begin its investigation by requesting a copy of the police report. The insurance company will use all the factual information in the report but may not necessarily agree with the police officer’s conclusions as to fault or liability.
Your Police Report Is Admissible in Court
The admissibility of a police report is a matter of state law. Some states do not permit the reports to be admitted, but Connecticut admits them as a business record exception to the hearsay rule. It would be best if you were sure to provide a copy of the police report to your South Windsor car accident attorney at your first consultation to assist with the evaluation of your case.
Contact A South Windsor Car Accident Attorney for Assistance Today
Your police report can be long and complicated, as can settlement negotiations and litigation. Contact an experienced and knowledgeable South Windsor car accident attorney today for an initial consultation to discuss and evaluate your case. Let Berman & Russo help you get the best possible result for you.