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Using a police report in the aftermath of a car accident

When Pittsburgh residents are involved in a serious car accident that causes injuries, they can often feel like things are spinning out of control quickly. The scene may be chaotic, with emergency personnel on the scene to treat all parties who have suffered injuries and tow trucks present to haul away the damaged vehicles. Medical treatment is the first priority, but anyone who suffered an injury in the accident will want to make sure that they are taking certain steps to ensure that they will be able to seek compensation from the party that was responsible for the accident.

A police report can be one of the most important pieces in a personal injury case that is based on a car accident. Our readers probably know that police officers are usually one part of the team of emergency personnel who respond to a serious car accident. These police officers will observe the scene of the accident and then make a report that will typically make note of a number of things, such as: the date, time and weather conditions at the time of the accident; the contact information for the parties involved; and an initial assessment of how, in the police officer's opinion, the accident occurred.

Injured victims will want to make sure that they find out which police agency was responsible for making the initial accident report. This way they will know where to go to get a copy of the report after they are released from medical care.

This initial report, usually made within a quick timeframe of when the accident actually occurred, can provide a plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit with great leverage if there is a determination of negligence or recklessness on the part of the other driver.

Source: FindLaw, "Obtaining and Using a Police Report," Accessed Feb. 26, 2017

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