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What Is a Vehicle Accident Report?

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What Is a Vehicle Accident Report?

A vehicle accident report, also known as a police report, is a report from the attending officer detailing the events of an automobile accident. The vehicle accident report is typically available about 2-5 business days after the accident. A report is useful when filing a claim with an insurance company and when suing the driver responsible for the car crash.

What Does a Vehicle Accident Report Include?

The police report generally includes information a plaintiff needs to win a lawsuit or file a claim, such as:

  • Place, date, and time of the car crash
  • Names of witnesses, drivers, or property owners
  • Description of the drivers involved in the accident, along with their driver’s license numbers
  • Weather conditions at the time of the accident
  • Any property damage
  • Vehicle description
  • Any injuries that occurred to drivers or passengers

Can I Sue the Driver Who Caused My Car Accident?

If the other driver was negligent, you can sue for money, formally known as damages, to compensate you for injuries sustained and property loss. Negligence is the failure to use the same level of care an ordinary person would use in the same or similar circumstances such as a car accident. To prove negligence, a plaintiff must the judge proof the defendant was responsible for the accident using the specific elements of:

  • Duty
  • Breach of duty 
  • Causation
  • Damages

How Can a Vehicle Accident Report Help Me?

In some states, the police officer at the car accident scene will conclude who was at fault based on the evidence. The accident report is often used to support the causation element of a negligence claim. The driver can be the actual cause and the proximate cause of the accident. For example the report may detail the driver was the actual cause because, but for the defendant hitting the plaintiff, the accident would not have occurred.

Can a Defendant Use a Police Report in Court?

Yes, the defendant can try to use the same police report to prove that they are not liable for the accident.

Should I Contact a Lawyer about a Police Report?

Yes because a police report can be an essential piece of evidence to your case. A personal injury lawyer will look at the accident report and determine how to use it to prove your case.

Photo of page author Taelonnda Sewell

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 07-27-2015 10:50 AM PDT

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