If you have been involved in a car accident and are making a personal injury claim a police report will play a big role in your case.
In car accident cases a police report may have been prepared with regards to the underlying incident. While police reports are generally inadmissible if your case gets to court, the report can still be very useful in most personal injury cases.
There are a number of useful ways to use the police report from your car accident as noted below:
- Settlement negotiations – Before bringing a personal injury lawsuit it is important to have all medical reports, police reports and other important records and draft a demand letter. The demand letter summarizes the facts of the case, describes each injury and demands compensation for those injuries. If the report indicates that the other driver was at fault, use the police report as a settlement tool.
- Provision of important facts – A police report will often provide important information about your case. The report will also specify the date of the incident, the weather, names of witnesses and other information. By having the names of witnesses you may be able to call them to testify at a deposition or trial.
Police Reports Hearsay
It must be noted that a police report cannot be used in court in most situations relating to car accidents because it is considered hearsay. Hearsay is broadly defined as “an out of court statement offered to prove the truth of whatever it asserts”. In other words hearsay is:
- An unsworn statement
- Made outside of a courtroom
- By a person without direct knowledge
- That is used to describe a statement or action of another person
Therefore, the report is considered hearsay because the police officer did not personally observe the incident.