A person can obtain a police report after a car accident in Clearwater by asking the investigating officer for a report number. This number can then be used to order the report from the police department either through a phone call, or online depending on the jurisdiction and which it allows.
Although this can be done without the assistance of an attorney, most times an experienced Clearwater car accident lawyer will be able to get the report a little bit faster because they order multiple police reports every day and have relationships with law enforcement. An attorney may even be able to call and tell the law enforcement officers that they need the report as fast as possible, speeding up the request.
Furthermore, if there is any delay, then your attorney’s office can identify exactly what the delay is and when the individual should be expecting the report. This is in contrast with an individual who seeks out the report on their own, who will likely not have any information regarding what is causing the delay or when they can expect to receive it.
Information Included in a Police Report
The police report contains the names of all the drivers and the types of cars involved in the incident. It also includes a dictation of exactly what happened and identifies the at-fault driver and whether they were speeding or following too closely to the other car. Very often, it includes the estimated damage on the car or may even say that the car was totaled.
Beyond the physical damage of the car, a report will often include whether someone reported an injury to law enforcement at the time of the accident or whether they were transported by an ambulance to a hospital. In some cases, especially in a wrongful death investigation, there are photographs and witness statements in the police reports.
Most Important Parts of a Report
One of the important parts of the police or incident report is whether the at-fault driver is cited and ticketed. The police report enumerates what they were cited for which allows an attorney to use that information to prove liability in the car accident claim.
Importance of Obtaining a Report
Obtaining a police report is essential because it can prove liability. If the person was ticketed and the officer put that ticket and the number of the citation into the police report, it is easy to prove that the at-fault driver was liable. If this liability even comes back into question, then you can use that police officer as a witness to show that the person was at fault.
Another important aspect of a police report is the witness information which can be invaluable in car accident cases. Someone who witnessed the accident take place and gave a statement to law enforcement will be listed in the report. This information along with information about the at-fault driver, the type of car, the estimated damage, and if the victim was complaining of injuries at the accident are all included in the police report.