The information contained in the police report is not admissible in court. Yet it could have an impact on the outcome of a personal injury case.
How to get hold of the police report for a given accident?
Call the non-emergency number for the police department that covers the area of that particular incident. If possible, give the name or badge number of the responding officer. Be ready to pay the stated fee.
What information of value might be found among the officer’s remarks and reported observations?
It might contain some fact that could work to strengthen a claim that the other party was at fault. If the police officer had suggested that the other party was at fault, then the insurance would have to offer evidence that could become the basis for a denial of the officer’s suggestion. The report might also contain the names of some witnesses. If the injured victim had hired a personal injury attorney, then he or she would be able to contact the witnesses, in hopes of arranging an interview.
How could a statement from an interview prove more valuable than one quoted in a police report? A smart lawyer would make a point of asking the interviewed witness to sign that same statement.
Why is the information from a police report not admissible in court?
Judges always refuse to provide Personal Injury Lawyer in Waterdown with the chance give jurors the opportunity to hear any hearsay. What is hearsay? That is any piece of information about an event that has come from someone who did not actually witness the same event.
At the time of the accident, any witnesses did see what happened. Still, their version got shared with the responding officer. He or she only reported what seemed of significance. In other words, the officer’s report of what any witness had said would qualify as hearsay.
A second reason for the inadmissibility of the officer’s reported statements relates to the potential for a follow-up, whenever a witness does testify in court. Following that testimony, the same witness gets cross-examined by the opposing party’s lawyer. That cross-examination could not take place, following the reading of any statement from the police report.
Realize, though, that most personal injury cases end with a settlement. Consequently, any evidence that can work to help those that must negotiate the settlement deserves to be viewed as valuable. As mentioned earlier, at least some of the information that might have been reported by the responding officers could help to shape the case’s outcome.
Every piece of evidence is important. Since the facts reported by the officers add to the evidence, their report has value in the eyes of the personal injury lawyer.