How To Obtain a Police Report After a Waco Car Accident
You will need to request a copy of a police report if you suffered injuries in a car accident in Waco, Texas. Police reports contain important data regarding the facts associated with your case and the legal claims you need to prove. You need to establish that the other party caused the accident in which you suffered injuries. Fortunately, you can seek help from a car accident attorney from the start of the process.
One of the first things you should do when you begin working with a Waco car accident attorney is request a copy of the police report associated with your case. You can request it, or your lawyer can; either way, the report can play an important role in your car accident insurance claim.
The Events That Take Place After an Auto Accident in Waco, Texas
Every driver who is involved in a traffic accident in Waco, Texas, should take the following steps:
- Do not make any verbal comments regarding the accident
- Do not admit fault when you speak to any insurance claim adjuster
- Obtain the contact information of those involved in the accident
- Ascertain the nature and extent of your injuries
- Call 911
- Seek medical treatment and heed the advice of emergency medical personnel
The Waco police officers will begin taking notes when they arrive at the accident scene. You should inform the police officers of the events that took place and provide a statement reflecting the facts of the accident. The police officers will use this information to file a police report detailing the causes and conditions of the traffic collision.
The best way to obtain information about this report is to ask the officer to give you the report number if they have it at the scene. You can obtain the officer’s name and badge number if you cannot obtain the police report number at the accident scene to help you later obtain a copy of the police report.
You should still go to the emergency room even if you believe you suffered only minor injuries. Begin creating a document trail associated with your injuries so you can substantiate your legal claims. Immediate medical attention helps your physical health and your legal case.
Paying For an Accident Report in Waco, Texas
If you want to purchase a copy of an auto accident report in Waco, Texas, you must submit your request in writing to the Waco Police Department. You must include a $6.00 fee. Third-party document companies such as CrashDocs may also help you obtain a copy of the accident report.
Applicants may request a copy of a police report from PoliceReports for $11.00, and the report is produced within twenty-four hours. Those who wish to order a copy of the police report online must use a credit card or debit card to submit the order. The applicant must be ready to enter full names and the names of any drivers involved in the accident.
You generally will receive a copy of the police report in your email inbox. Therefore, you need to provide a current email address to the individual agency that will handle your request. After you receive the police report, you should make copies and keep them in a safe area within your home. These records are critical to your personal injury case, and if you retain an attorney, they will likely request all records relevant to your accident and injuries.
The Benefits of Retaining a Car Accident Attorney in Waco, Texas
A car accident attorney can provide you with legal representation, which entails protecting your legal rights while advocating for you in court. They also gather all the information and evidence you need for your case. For example, you may need to subpoena non-parties or depose witnesses who have information about the car accident, and your lawyer knows how to do this. If you do not have an attorney representing you, obtaining all the evidence you need to substantiate your legal claims may be very difficult.
One of the most valuable things about having an attorney is attorney-client confidentiality. The communications you share with your attorney are confidential, and you do not have to hide anything from your attorney, even if you believe the information may be potentially detrimental to your case.
You will also have the time to heal from your injuries while your attorney litigates your case. While an attorney drafts a demand letter for your case, you can focus on medical treatment, physical therapy, and other things that will benefit your physical health and recovery. As a client of a car accident lawyer, you do not have to let a civil lawsuit take over every area of your personal life.
Documentary Evidence and Auto Accident Cases
Documentary evidence is critical to car accident cases because often, no witnesses observe an accident, and no surveillance camera records the incident. Therefore, you need to use as many different types of records to substantiate your claims and prove your case.
It is difficult to prove a case if you do not have any documentary evidence whatsoever. Your lawyer might request more records than you believe are necessary, but they might be valuable to paint the entire picture of your crash. Your lawyer must ensure that these records are accurate based on your knowledge of the auto accident’s events.
Police reports are important because they document the physical conditions at the accident scene. These reports also contain a description of the injuries and property damage associated with the accident. Also, a complete police report will contain statements from witnesses, including other passengers. The police report will also contain the telephone numbers, physical addresses, and names of people involved in the accident. Also important are the potential causes of the accident and the date, time, and location of the vehicle accident.
All of this information can help your attorney build your claim and theories of liability.
A Police Report and Settlement Negotiations
Settlement negotiations are critical to the success of an auto accident case, and the majority of civil lawsuits are resolved through settlement negotiations instead of in court. If every case went to trial, the legal system would be overburdened, and plaintiffs might have to wait years for a trial date and resolution. Settlements are encouraged whenever possible to avoid this, and your attorney can negotiate a fair settlement for you.
Police reports provide information that can promote the settlement of a case. Often, accounts from the authorities can be persuasive with insurance companies, especially if the other driver received a traffic citation or was arrested for drunk driving. Insurance companies might not want to take a case to court if the police report indicates the policyholder was to blame, so this can be a key document during your negotiations.
Deposing Parties and Non-Parties
If a complaint is filed and your case is litigated, then your car accident lawyer may need to depose different parties and non-parties. A police report will often provide you with the names of the officers or witnesses who may need to be deposed.
Police Reports Need to Be Assessed Immediately
Once a police report becomes available, you or your attorney should request it. Different law enforcement agencies may produce these reports, but they contain similar information. While officers might do their best to accurately complete a report, accident scenes can be chaotic, and reports can have wrong information.
No police report is infallible simply because a police officer created the document. If a report is inaccurate, you must seek to amend it, and your attorney will help with this process. You want all the information to be correct before you file your insurance claim or civil complaint. Sometimes, a lawyer will need to hire a police practice expert to determine if the law enforcement officer acted within the bounds of his training and experience when responding to the scene and completing the report.
Retaining a lawyer is necessary to protect your legal rights and claim. Obtaining, assessing, and amending reports can seem overwhelming when you already have so much to deal with. Fortunately, you do not have to suffer alone and feel as if you cannot challenge the contents of the police report.
Other Evidence to Prove Liability Besides a Police Report
A police report is often a go-to piece of evidence, but it is not the only form of proof that can establish fault. One important piece of evidence is witness statements. If there were any witnesses to the accident, their accounts of what happened can provide valuable insight into the events leading up to the collision. Eyewitness testimony can be compelling evidence, especially if multiple witnesses provide consistent statements. Their unbiased observations can help paint a clearer picture of the accident and potentially place liability on the appropriate party.
Another form of evidence that can be crucial in establishing liability is video footage. With the rise of dashcams and surveillance cameras, there is a higher likelihood of capturing car accidents on camera. If a nearby business or traffic camera recorded the accident, obtaining the footage can provide a solid piece of evidence. Video evidence can help determine if either party exhibited negligent behavior, such as distracted driving or sudden lane changes.
Additionally, photographs of the accident scene and vehicle damage can be useful in proving liability. Take pictures of the vehicles involved, the damage sustained, and any relevant road conditions or signage. These visual records can help reconstruct the accident and provide a clearer understanding of how it occurred. They can also help disprove any false claims by the other party involved.
While a police report is a valuable document in determining liability, your car accident attorney will gather additional evidence to strengthen your case. Witness statements, video footage, and photographs can all play a significant role in establishing fault and ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve.
The Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Actions
There is no deadline for requesting a police report, but there are other legal deadlines to consider. The statute of limitations for personal injury actions in Texas is two years from the date of the injury. This means that the accident victim must file a complaint within two years of the date of the incident to preserve their legal claims. You should hire a car accident attorney to begin gathering documents and evidence as soon as possible to ensure that you do not file your complaint after the statute of limitations period has passed.
Documenting Your Injuries
While a police report contains much pertinent information, it does not contain everything you need for your claim. You must also document your injuries by seeking medical treatment. A physician can assess your injuries and determine a course of treatment that will benefit you. They will document your injuries, and your attorney can request these medical records to help your claim.
While a police report can work to prove liability, your medical documentation can prove your injuries and damages. Fortunately, your attorney can request all necessary records to build the strongest possible case and prove every element of your claim.
Contact a Waco Car Accident Attorney Today
You can reach out to a car accident lawyer today to learn more about your rights and how a police report can benefit your case. Although you may have never had to retain a car accident lawyer before, you can research and find one who resonates with you. The sooner you retain an attorney and begin requesting important records, the sooner you can seek monetary compensation for your injuries. Once you receive your compensation, you can begin moving on with your life.
Consultation with a Waco personal injury law firm‘s car accident attorney should be free of charge, so act now to begin the process.