Car accidents can be stressful events for all those involved. During the chaos surrounding an automobile accident, many car accident victims may forget to obtain a police report which is a crucial record of events that can be helpful in a personal injury claim. This can be a huge mistake for injured individuals who may later face significant expenses related to their accident. Police reports can provide important information to assist injured individuals in making claims against responsible parties.
A common misconception is that all police reports cannot be used in court due to evidentiary rules. Police reports can fall within the definition of hearsay in many courts because police officers do not usually see the actual accident but merely report on what other people say about the accident. The Federal Rules of Evidence do generally bar hearsay which is out of court statements that are used to prove the facts of the case. Hearsay is problematic because it often causes a “he said, she said” situation. However there are exceptions to the hearsay rules which are potentially applicable to police reports.
One notable exception to the hearsay rule involves business and public records. If a police report is prepared in the regular course of police business and made soon after an accident, it becomes admissible (although bystander statements included within a police report likely do not fall within this hearsay exception).
It is important to always request a police report on the scene of an accident, regardless of its admissibility in court. It is powerful tool in pursuing personal injury claims against the responsible parties. Even inadmissible police reports can be used to the advantage of an individual injured in an automobile accident.
Police reports can provide crucial descriptions of the circumstances of an accident including preliminary assessments of which driver is at fault. Car accident lawyers use the police reports in drafting their demand letter and during settlement negotiations with insurance companies. Information found in the police reports, including names of witnesses, also can be helpful to investigators working on your case.
The Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers at Edelstein Martin & Nelson, LLP Aggressively Seek Compensation for Our Clients in Car Accident Cases
If you or your loved one has suffered serious physical injuries in a motor vehicle accident, you may be entitled to compensation. In addition to the costs of past and future medical treatment, you may be suffering from serious financial losses including lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, physical damage to your automobile and pain and suffering. The experienced Philadelphia and Delaware personal injury lawyers at Edelstein Martin & Nelson, LLP obtain large six figure settlements for their clients through their work as skilled negotiators, mediators and litigators.
Our personal injury lawyers have two convenient office locations in Wilmington, Delaware and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to handle state and federal legal matters throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania and Delaware. To schedule your free confidential consultation, call our car accident lawyers today at (215) 731-9900, toll free at (800) 300-0909 or submit an online inquiry