Using Police Reports in a Car Accident Case
Car accidents can lead to devastating injuries. If you have been injured in a car accident where anyone was injured or there was significant properly damage to one or more vehicles, chances are that local police came to the scene. A police report can play an important role in determining who is at fault for an accident. At Therman Law Offices, our highly skilled Wheaton and Schaumburg car accident attorneys understand how to establish liability in personal injury cases using a variety of tools including police reports. Auto crashes can be complicated, and using a police report in a car accident case can provide key evidence in your claim for damages.What is a Police Report?
When law enforcement responds to the scene of the accident, they typically create a report regarding what happened. Law enforcement could include local police, the county sheriff, state police, and/or highway patrol officers. Police reports can be compelling because they are meant to represent a police officer’s determination of the facts surrounding the crash. Many times, an officer will make a conclusion as to who was at fault for the accident. A police report may include a variety of information that could also be useful in an independent investigation. Some of this information includes the names of the parties, the location of the accident, eyewitness account of how the collision took place, a description of the injuries as well as vehicle damage and whether anyone involved in the accident went to the hospital. It is important to note that police reports do not dictate the outcome of a personal injury case; however, using a police report in a car accident case can provide important support for your claims.Establishing Fault in a Car Accident Case
The vast majority of personal injury cases are rooted in the legal theory of negligence. Negligence occurs when a person fails to use the level of care that a reasonably prudent person would have used in the same or similar circumstances, thus causing an accident and any resulting harm. In order to establish negligence, the plaintiff must be able to demonstrate the following:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care (i.e., the defendant was legally required to act in a certain manner;
- The defendant breached the duty of care owed to the plaintiff (i.e., the defendant failed to act in the certain manner that was required);
- The defendant’s breach was the direct cause of an accident; and
- The plaintiff suffered quantifiable harm as a result.
Ultimately, whether a person was negligent or not is for a jury to decide after examining all the facts and evidence in a particular case, and an experienced accident lawyer can help you present your claims.Obtaining Compensation for Your Harm
Individuals injured in a car accident may be able to recover a variety of damages. “Damages” is the legal term for compensation awarded to the injured person. Damages can be categorized in one of two ways: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are those intended to reimburse a plaintiff for her or her losses as a result of the injury. Some common examples of economic damages include compensation for medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation, costs and property damage. Non-economic damages refer to intangible losses and include compensation for things like pain and suffering, scarring, and disfigurement.Skilled Schaumburg and Wheaton Car Wreck Attorneys
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a car accident due to another driver’s drunk or careless driving, you need to reach out to a seasoned Schaumburg and Wheaton injury attorney who can assess the merits of your case. With years of experience, the legal team at Therman Law Offices understand he benefits of using a police report in a car accident case, and how to navigate even the toughest personal injury claims. At our firm, we know that time and money are precious resources, which is why we will begin with scrutinizing the facts of your case and providing you with an honest assessment of your claim. We help clients from communities including Schaumburg, Wheaton, Norwood Park, Harwood Heights, Edison Park, Elmwood Park, Park Ridge, Norridge, Des Plaines, Rosemont, and Elk Grove Village. Call us at 312-588-1900 or contact us online.