If you’ve ever driven by a car accident, you’ve probably seen the police officer interviewing drivers and witnesses and assessing the scene of the crash. You may have even seen one of the drivers doing the same thing…but why? Wouldn’t the law enforcement officer who sees dozens of wrecks be better able to capture what really happened and present an unbiased report?
As it turns out, having your own version of a report in addition to the police report is always an asset. When officers arrive on the scene, their report is based on seeing the aftermath with no real context, only what was offered by drivers and witnesses. You directly experienced the wreck—what led up to it, what caused it—and see the results in a different light. Additionally, if the officer wrongly pinpoints the blame on you, having your own set of information can assist your lawyer in constructing a rock-solid defense.
So what is the difference between a police officer’s accident report and your own information? In reality, probably not much, but you will have your own information handy at all times throughout the case while the police report takes time to be released. The police report will generally include testimony from each driver and witnesses, their take on how the accident happened, and pictures of the cars, the accident scene, and skid marks. In your own “report,” be sure to include:
- Your own narrative on what happened (write this as soon as possible while it is still fresh in your mind)
- Information on the vehicles involved, including license plates, make, model, and pictures of damage
- Witness names and contact information
- Information about the accident scene, including weather, visibility, and road conditions
- Injuries suffered
- Responding officers
- Other pertinent information, such as pictures of debris, skid marks, etc.
While the police report is an official record, having your own account of the accident can help you navigate the claims process smoothly, and can also assist if you progress to an injury case. To learn more about how you can be compensated for injuries caused by a negligent driver, call Augusta car accident attorney Chris Hudson today to set up a free consultation.