Proving Fault: Car Accidents and Police Reports
By Shane Kadlec on February 20, 2019
In Texas, auto accidents are far more common than anyone would like. In fact, according to the Houston-Galveston Area Council State of Safety Report, the region saw a 40 percent increase in vehicle collisions and a 20 percent increase in motor vehicle accident fatalities from 2012 to 2016.
The police report of a motor vehicle accident can play a major role in proving fault in an auto accident lawsuit. Find out how Houston, TX attorney Shane R. Kadlec can use a car accident police report to help establish liability.
Auto Accident Police Reports: The Basics
We have all driven by an auto accident at one point or another. There is one thing in common just about every time: a police officer is present at the scene.
An officer will gather evidence and file a report any time an accident takes place. This report can help you avoid unfair blame for causing the crash and help prove the other driver was responsible.
Contents of an Auto Accident Police Report
One key question will come up after any accident: which driver is at fault? While a police officer does not have to opine on the matter, he or she can do so in a police report.
Regardless, a police report will generally contain some, if not all, of the following information:
- The date, time, and location of the accident
- The vehicles involved and the respective license plate numbers
- The names, contact information, and insurance details for all parties involved
- Statements from witnesses or other motorists who may have seen the crash
- Information on witnesses such as names, addresses, and contact information
- A detailed account of the damage to each vehicle
- A diagram representation of the crash
- Information about weather, road, and lighting conditions
- References to any laws that may have been violated
- An opinion on who caused the accident
To the last point, it is important to understand that the police officer who writes the report may give his or her opinion on the matter, but that is considered subjective. The officer’s assessment could differ from an insurance provider or another motorist. Nonetheless, that information can be useful in building a case that the other driver is at fault.
How a Police Report Can Be Used to Establish Fault
An officer’s opinion is considered subjective, but his or her opinion can be one piece to the puzzle in proving fault. Police reports can vary in the level of detail, but the information within is critical to secure.
If the other driver broke a law or was issued a citation, that information coupled with the officer’s interpretation of the crash can go a long way in placing the blame where it belongs: on the other driver.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer
Auto accidents can have a profound effect from a physical, emotional, and financial standpoint. Contact the Law Office of Shane R. Kadlec today at (281) 643-2000 to schedule a time for a case review.
Related to This
"Shane showed genuine concern about my well-being. He not only gave me excellent legal service, he did so with compassion and integrity."--Tracy