What Is A Car Accident Report And Why Do You Need One

Most people have a stack of papers waiting in a file cabinet. They may hold on to documents for years without ever using them. After a motor vehicle crash, you might conclude that the same will happen to your car accident report. However, car accident reports can help make personal injury settlements successful so victims get the compensation they deserve.

Don’t put your claim in jeopardy. Instead, call Judd Shaw Injury Law. Our passion for justice motivates us to assist car accident victims with their best interests in mind. Plus, we can help you get a hold of your car accident report.

You can strengthen your claim if you obtain a car accident report and put it to best use. Contact us 24/7 at (866) 909-6894 for your free case review and to learn more about your legal rights. 

Interpreting the Details of Accident Reports

An accident report documents the details of different accident types, such as vehicle collisions and other injuries in public places. Police reports are prepared by law enforcement officers responding to criminal incidents, suspicious activities, and traffic accidents.

When police officers respond to a traffic accident, they create a police report. It will include all the relevant details of the event, serving the purpose of both a police report and an accident report.

An accident report typically includes the following components:

  • Specific facts about the accident: Time, date, and location
  • Involved parties: Details about the individuals or vehicles involved, such as driver’s license and plate numbers, makes and models of cars, and passenger information
  • Witnesses: Statements and contact information from those who saw or heard the crash
  • Descriptions and diagrams: Illustrations indicating how involved cars are positioned in relation to each other and other relevant elements (e.g., traffic signage, construction zones, property)
  • Weather and road conditionsDescriptions of conditions at the time of the crash
  • Damage and injuries: Assessment of physical damage to property and personal injuries
  • Evidence: Photographs, video footage, or physical artifacts from the scene
  • Traffic violations: Citations or tickets issued, the results of any blood alcohol content (BAC) or drug tests administered; any arrests made at the scene for charges of reckless driving, DUI, or other offenses

Since traffic authorities create accident reports, they often contain the responding officer’s observations. These unbiased accounts could back your testimony. Without them, you could find yourself in a “my-word-against-yours” deadlock with an at-fault driver trying to shift blame for the incident.

In New Jersey, basic crash investigation reports are public records. You can buy a copy of approved crash reports online for up to 6 years after the year of the accident.

Serious or fatal investigation reports, which could include digital media and statements, are not considered public records. Nevertheless, a personal injury lawyer can request these official records by requesting a signed legal document called a subpoena from New Jersey Courts.

Strategically Using Your Car Accident Report

An official document may corroborate facts and support your case. For example, an accident report can confirm the details of the accident, including your injuries and property damage. When your narrative aligns with this documented proof, you bolster the credibility of your claim.

To support your claims for medical expenses

One common tactic of unethical insurance companies is to imply that car crash survivors exaggerate their injuries. Insurers might also claim your current medical condition resulted from a prior illness or injury.

Accident records, though, provide a timestamped record that could link specific injuries to the crash. This can confirm your claims and justify your hospital bills and ongoing treatment.

To prove the trustworthiness of witness testimony

If witness statements align with the documented report, it adds weight to their words. This is one way to establish liability and demonstrate the sequence of events leading up to the collision. Having references to their claims in the accident report also removes doubts of bias in case the witnesses have a personal relationship with the injured party.

To reconstruct the accident

Experienced personal injury attorneys know that some judges and jury members have trouble visualizing accident scenes.

Accident reports bring the events to life, especially if they are used to create visual aids like those described here:

  • Presentations: Diagrams, charts, graphs, or slide decks illustrating significant accident-related events
  • Computer simulations: Software-generated materials that reproduce the accident scene, vehicle movements, and other relevant factors
  • Animation: Videos to demonstrate the dynamics of the incident, including vehicle trajectories and impacts
  • Photographic displays: Photographs of the scene, vehicle damage, and other relevant evidence
  • Models: Scaled models or replicas that provide a 3D representation of the events

Accident reconstruction in car accidents involves experts analyzing evidence like skid marks, vehicle damage, and witness statements. This helps us understand how and why the accident happened. At the same time, a comprehensive police report makes it easier to find these relevant details quickly.

In court, an analysis based on official reports can reveal what led to the crash and who was responsible. It provides a clear picture for judges and juries, helping them understand complex situations and make fair decisions about liability and compensation.

Receive Personalized Legal Assistance Now

Reports are crucial to successful workers’ compensation claims, personal injury lawsuits, and out-of-court settlements. Like cornerstones, they support other evidence to build effective car accident cases.

Even with a report in hand, understanding the complexities of New Jersey traffic laws and insurance procedures can be daunting. After a collision, pressures and demands can overtake you, making you anxious and confused.

Like knights in shining armor, the attorneys of Judd Shaw Injury Law are ready to represent your legal interests when you need help. We can obtain your car accident report, break down its components, negotiate with insurance companies, and verify the facts in court.

Our law firm is committed to fighting for maximum compensation without charging clients out of pocket. Our contingency fee arrangement allows you to pursue justice regardless of your financial situation. Contact us today at (866) 909-6894 to schedule a free consultation and experience high-quality representation and excellent customer service.

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Content edited by personal injury attorney Judd Shaw. From the beginning, Judd established a set of Core Values laying out the pursuit for excellence in client service. He is a regular host of the Working The Wow podcast, with the belief that providing an exceptional client experience is just as important as delivering a quality service or product. You can find us in Red Bank and Tom‘s River, New Jersey.