A Florida lawyer can prove fault in a car accident when the police report says otherwise. Police officers are trained in investigating car accidents and will prepare an official police report regarding the details of the accident in accordance with the Uniform Traffic Crash Report Manual. However, these police reports are not the only source of information that will establish fault or blame for a car accident.
The law is clear that police reports and insurance companies’ determinations of fault do not absolutely control the final determination of fault in a court case. Other evidence, additional photographs, physical evidence, witness testimony, and expert witnesses can be admitted into evidence to persuade a jury. Contact Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers at (855) 529-0269 today to find out how we can help you dispute fault in a car accident case when the police report says otherwise.
Police Accident Reports
Police officers gather information at the scene of a car accident to create a police report, as mandated by FL § 316.066. The typical information included in a police report includes:
- The date, location, and time of the car accident
- Identification documents and statements from drivers, passengers, and witnesses
- Driver and passenger injuries
- Road conditions and weather conditions at the time of the accident
- Property damage to the vehicles
- Identification of the cars involved, such as the year, model, color and make of the vehicles.
- Any factors that may have contributed to the accident in their opinion, such as speeding, incorrectly turning left, failing to use a turn signal, faulty brake lights, etc.
A police officer will typically take photographs of the vehicles and the scene of the car accident for the police report. Any Florida traffic violations cited, field sobriety test results or breathalyzer test results will also become part of the police report.
The police report will also include the police officer’s opinion regarding the cause of the accident, actions that were taken by the drivers in the course of the accident, and a hand-drawn diagram to illustrate the scene of the accident, and the exact point of impact on the vehicles. The police report is not completed at the scene of the accident, but rather several days later. You can obtain a copy of your police accident report by mail or in-person in the state of Florida.
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How Police Reports Affect Injury Claims
A police report should include information and facts regarding the car accident. Certain portions of the police report can be used as evidence to determine fault in a car accident.
A police officer may issue a traffic citation as part of the car accident. While this traffic citation will not prove who is liable or at-fault for the accident, it can be used as evidence that a driver was possibly negligent.
Police Officer’s Determination of Fault
The police report may or may not indicate which driver the police officer thought was at fault for the car accident. It is important to note that even if a police report states that one person is at fault for a car accident, this does not automatically mean that the person will be held liable for damages.
A police officer is officially a neutral witness with professional experience and training to investigate vehicle collisions. However, a police report can still be wrong. A police officer may simply not have had all of the information or evidence to include in the police report to make an accurate determination of fault.
Police Reports are Persuasive Evidence
Police reports are very persuasive as evidence to insurance companies and juries in any personal injury claim. The police officer is technically an impartial party to the accident and has professional judgment regarding traffic laws and vehicle collisions. However, police officers are not perfect, and they can make mistakes.
While a police officer’s report and testimony will have significant credibility with an insurance company or jury, a police officer’s report can be mistaken, inaccurate or incomplete. If you need a Florida lawyer to prove fault in a car accident when the police report says otherwise, contact the car accident attorneys at Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers at (855) 529-0269.
Proving Fault in a Car Accident When the Police Report Says Otherwise
By doing additional investigative work, and coming up with additional evidence, Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers can work to persuade the other driver’s insurance adjuster and the insurance company that the party they insured was at fault or partially at fault for the car accident. Insurance companies often have internal departments that handle disputes regarding fault in car accidents. If the insurance company still does not attribute any fault for the car accident to their driver, we can still have a chance at trial to prove that you were not at fault through additional evidence and testimony.
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Contact a Florida Car Accident Attorney
Remember that if you disagree with the police report regarding your car accident, you have the right to present additional evidence and testimony to prove your case. Contact the car accident attorneys at Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers at (855) 529-0269 today to find out how we can prove fault in a car accident when the police report says otherwise.
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