Can An Insurance Company Go Against A Police Report?
Often, those who have recently been the victim of a car accident ask what weight a police report might carry if they choose to pursue a car accident claim – and more specifically, whether or not an insurance company is required to pay a claim if their insured is found to be at fault. It’s an understandable question to ask.
The unfortunate and short answer to this question is no. Insurance companies are not required to pay a claim simply because a police officer determines the insured to be at fault. While that may seem difficult to understand or hard to accept, the good news to keep in mind is that police reports often do carry a lot of weight in a car accident claim and can serve as important leverage for increasing your chances of a favorable settlement or verdict. Let's take a closer look at the details together.
WHAT INFORMATION IS INCLUDED IN A POLICE REPORT?
As most people know, a police report is a document created by a law enforcement officer who responds to the scene of a car accident. It typically includes information like:
- The pertinent details relating to the accident;
- Statements from those involved in the accident;
- Statements from any witnesses;
- A diagram or photographs of the collision;
- And any other information the officer found important to report.
Certainly, the police report can be a critical piece of any car accident claim. When a car accident occurs and a claim is filed, insurance companies will almost always request and review the police report from the accident. For any number of reasons, you may also want to obtain your own copy of the police report pertaining to your accident. To do so, you may request a copy from the local law enforcement office that drafted the report or have your attorney request a copy from the insurance company.
WHY DO INSURANCE COMPANIES REVIEW POLICE REPORTS?
Insurance companies request and review police reports following a car accident for any number of reasons, including:
- They want to discover the pertinent details of the accident – how it occurred, and under what circumstances.
- They want to obtain information about the parties involved and any witnesses.
- Perhaps most importantly, they want to determine which party the police found to be "at fault" for the accident – the insurance companies' client, or the other party.
Ultimately, regardless of what is included in the police report, it is important to remember that an insurance company will almost always conduct its own investigation and form an opinion as to which party was at fault in an accident. After all, insurance companies are businesses and are often interested in avoiding payment of claims if possible.
Sometimes, the opinions of the insurance company and the police officer are different, and as a result, even if the police report is in your favor, the insurance company may deny your claim. Nevertheless, police reports are still very valuable pieces of evidence in most car accident claims, regardless of the opinion of the insurance company.
WHY POLICE REPORTS ARE VALUABLE EVIDENCE
Sure, an insurance company may attempt to deny your claim. It happens – and it happens fairly often. Nevertheless, if you find the right attorney, and you have a police report that clearly indicates that the other party was at fault in the accident, you have powerful leverage on your side.
Even when an insurance company initially attempts to deny the claim, an attorney who knows and understands the law can build a solid case around a favorable police report that may persuade the insurance company to reconsider and offer a settlement, or ultimately persuade a jury to find in your favor. That’s why at Roden Law, we’re here to help you build the strongest case possible.
RODEN LAW – YOUR CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS
A car accident can happen in a matter of seconds – but its effects can be long-lasting and severe. If you are the victim of a car accident, it’s entirely understandable to feel overwhelmed and unsure as to what steps to take next. That’s why the knowledgeable and experienced team at Roden Law is here to help. We understand every aspect of car accident law, and we can guide you through the claims process every step of the way with the expert representation that you need and deserve on your side. If you’re ready to get started, give us a call. We look forward to speaking with you soon.