If you have been injured in a car accident, especially if the other driver was intoxicated, you may be considering legal action. While obtaining an attorney and filing a lawsuit are both big steps, there are certain things you can do to help your case and your lawyer beforehand. Obtaining your police report is one thing you can do that is both easy and helpful.
After law enforcement has responded to an incident, the officer's involved must file a police report. Typically, police reports include important information surrounding the circumstances and assessment of an event. Not only do these reports offer factual information such as the location, date and time of an accident, but it usually also includes the officer's observations and an overall assessment of the event, including assigned fault, citations given and witness reports.
Receiving a police report is a relatively easy process. If you were involved in the accident, you are entitled to any report made following the event. To receive a copy of the report, you need only to contact the responding agency and request one. After receiving your copy, you may want to read through it carefully to validate certain information before speaking to an attorney. If you choose to proceed with a civil action, your lawyer will likely refer to information provided by the police report during negotiations.
While there are several steps that you should take following an accident, obtaining a copy of the police report is a valuable one. If you have been injured by the carelessness of a drunk driver, the information contained within an officer's report may be some of the most valuable information that you can give your attorney. Although these reports are typically not admissible in court, an experienced personal injury attorney will know how to draw from its information and use it as leverage in your case.