If you plan to submit a 3rd party claim to the insurance company that sold an insurance policy to the driver responsible for a given accident, then you ought to appreciate the value of a police report. The adjuster that has received notice of your submitted claim can be expected to study that same report, in order to determine who could be found at-fault, as per Injury Lawyer in Richmond Hill.
Facts of interest to adjuster that studies the police report
The date, time and location of the reported accident: No adjuster would agree to cover an accident if the driver’s policy had not been purchased prior to the date of that specific incident. That is why a smart car-buyer should purchase insurance before he or she takes that new vehicle off of the lot.
The weather conditions on the date of the accident
The arriving officer’s opinion, regarding who was at-fault: That officer might have issued a citation or a ticket to one of the drivers.
The identification of any witnesses, or even of anybody that simply showed up at the scene, following the accident’s occurrence. Why might an adjuster be interested in the observation or opinion of someone that had just shown up at the scene?
If he or she were a local resident, then his or her familiarity with the area could prove useful. During the time spent living in that area, that particular man or woman might have witnessed more than one accident. That person’s observations would indicate that some unidentified factor had caused multiple accidents at the same spot.
Suppose there was a mistake in the report. What action could a claimant take?
First the client would need to contact the department that had issued the report. Then he or she would need to arrange for addition of a statement, one that contained the correct information.
Is there any legal setting in which a police report would not have great value?
Yes, the report’s contents could not be introduced in a courtroom. The judge would view any statement from a witness as hearsay. That would be due to the fact that the arriving officer was not present at the time of the accident. Consequently, any statement recorded by the same officer would qualify as hearsay.
A judge presiding over a trial for a car accident case should never allow the jury to hear a recollected statement. All statements made to the jury must come directly from the person making that same statement. That is why a police report would not be of great value in a courtroom. Still, it would be of value to the adjuster. It could also prove helpful to the claimant’s lawyer.