After an auto accident, Washington state law enforcement encourages all drivers to call 911 and report the accident. A police officer will arrive on site to investigate what happened. Then the officer will create a report on what happened. Insurance companies will later use this report as part of someone’s’ personal injury case.
What kind of information is contained in an accident report?
Officers fill out accident reports using a set of crash report codes. This data includes all of the vital information from the accident, such as:
- The name, address, phone number, or other contact information for everyone involved in the incident, including witnesses, drivers, passengers, and property owners
- A description of all of the vehicles or objects involved in the collision
- Any contributing factors to the accident, including driver qualities and road conditions
- A general explanation of how the accident occurred, including precise information about the crash, such as where the vehicles hit one another and the direction that each car was traveling just before the accident
How is this report of the accident relevant to my legal case?
In court, police reports are not admissible evidence. Accident reports, generally speaking, are considered “hearsay”. This is because the officer who wrote the report did not witness the accident firsthand. For this reason, accident reports aren’t allowed to be presented to a judge or jury. Your accident report can however still be beneficial to your personal injury case.
Police officers report so many auto accidents each year, that it can be challenging to remember each individual accident. Because of this, officers rely heavily on what they put in their reports and will almost always testify with exactly what was written.
Our experienced attorneys here at Premier Law group know this information, and likely so does the other driver’s insurance company. Police officers are considered highly credible witnesses being that when it comes to a car accident claim, they have no bias. Police officers have no reason to write a report that is incomplete or untruthful, which means their testimony (and by extension, their police report), will very influential in your case.