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Using Police Reports after an Accident

Experienced Cape Cod Attorneys Advocating for Car Crash Victims

The team at the Law Offices of John C. Manoog, III has decades of experience representing Massachusetts residents who have been hurt by careless drivers. Our Cape Cod car accident lawyers understand the pain and stress that an unexpected crash may cause, both for anyone who was directly involved and for loved ones who may be depending on them for financial and emotional support. Our attorneys meticulously gather evidence and strategically build cases to maximize the damages to which our clients may be entitled. We can thoroughly investigate the accident in which you were hurt, negotiate with insurance companies, and fight for your rights in court.

Using a Police Report After an Accident

When a car accident involves more than one driver and other potentially responsible parties, there is often more than one version of how the crash happened. An investigation is crucial in these situations. An experienced attorney will leave no stone unturned in digging up many forms of evidence, including police reports, eyewitness statements, and information about the events leading up to the collision. This is important because a victim seeking compensation usually will need to prove that the defendant driver was at fault for the crash. They must have failed to drive safely and take reasonable precautions, and their careless behavior must have directly caused the accident and the related injuries.

Police reports may be compelling because they are supposed to represent a police officer’s determination of the facts surrounding the crash. Many times, the officer will even make a conclusion about who was at fault for the accident. A police report also provides a lot of information that may be useful in conducting an independent investigation. This includes the names of the people involved in the crash (and their insurance companies), as well as witnesses who saw the collision happen. A sketch of the particular spot on the road where the accident took place and a description of any injuries, vehicle damage, and hospital visits are also usually part of the report. Victims who prevail in a personal injury claim usually will be able to receive compensation for their medical bills, property damage, pain and suffering, lost income, and other economic and non-economic forms of harm that they have suffered.

However, police reports do not necessarily dictate the outcome of a case. The officer completing the report usually was not there when the crash actually happened and is using second-hand information. If there are parts of the police report that are less favorable to your case, there also may be ways to challenge the information that they contain. For example, if the report suggests that both drivers were at fault for the crash, this may raise the issue of the Massachusetts modified comparative negligence rule. Under this rule, a victim will need to show that they were not 51 percent or more at fault, or they will not be able to receive any compensation. (If they were at fault to a degree less than 51 percent, they may be able to receive compensation that is proportionate to the defendant’s degree of fault.)

Contact a Knowledgeable Car Accident Lawyer on Cape Cod

At the Law Offices of John C. Manoog, III, our motor vehicle collision lawyers have over 146 years of combined legal experience in car accident and other personal injury cases. We know how to use police reports to bolster cases and also can conduct our own investigation to make clear who was at fault. Our Cape Cod car accident attorneys offer free consultations and are happy to travel to you if you cannot make it to us. We do not charge a fee in most cases unless we are successful. Call us at 888-262-6664 or contact us online. Nós Falamos Português.

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