How to Deal With an Unfavorable Police Report in Your Car Accident Lawsuit
The police report of the car accident is a vital piece of evidence that can either help or harm you case. If the report is favorable, it can corroborate your version of the accident; if it’s unfavorable, however, it can present many difficulties to your burden of proof.
Both sides can readily access the police report. This means that either the insurance adjuster or the defendant’s attorney can use it to deny liability or even reduce possible damages because of comparative negligence on your part. Thus, if the police report is unfavorable to you, your Orange County auto accident lawyer should try to challenge it or figure out how to use it in your favor. Your attorney can do this in several ways:
- Looking at the officer’s role in the investigation (to see whether he was an eye-witness to the accident, an after-the-fact investigator, or an expert in accident reconstruction), as well as his background, training, and experience;
- Hiring investigators or accident reconstruction experts in order to get physical evidence, forensic evidence, or expert testimony;
- Meeting with the officer and getting additional information in order to later impeach or cross-examine him at the trial;
- Contesting any administrative, traffic, or criminal charges stemming from the car accident in order to cross-examine the officer, do discovery, and prevent a conviction that can later be used against you in a civil lawsuit;
- Filing court motions to exclude certain parts of the police report;
- Doing a deposition on the police officer so he has to commit to his testimony in trial; and
- Finding out whether the police officers made a videotape at the scene of the accident or immediately following the accident.
If you’ve been in a car accident, and you’re thinking of filing a lawsuit, contact Orange County auto accident lawyer Samer Habbas for a free initial consultation.