What Impact Does a Police Accident Report Have on a Maryland Auto Vehicle Accident?

What Impact Does a Police Accident Report Have on a Maryland Auto Vehicle Accident?

A police report can play a major role in how your insurance company views your Baltimore auto accident claim and can provide important information in the event of an accident-related personal injury lawsuit.

A police accident report is created by the law enforcement officer who responds to a request for help at the scene of a Baltimore car accident. When the police officer arrives, they will talk with the involved parties, investigate and assess the accident scene, take photographs, talk to possible witnesses, and generate their report. So, the report is a summary of information regarding a Baltimore motor vehicle accident that contains facts related to the accident and the opinion of the investigating officer.

While police officers are not dispatched for every accident, they are sent when someone has been injured, when the accident is blocking traffic, when any of the drivers are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or if the parties are fighting about what happened. If law enforcement doesn’t come to the scene of the auto accident, you can go to the police department or check to see if you can file the report online.

Police accident reports often include the date, time, and location of the crash; the identifying information for the involved parties, including names, addresses, phone numbers, and insurance information; contact information for any witnesses who agreed to provide testimony; the statements from the involved parties and the witnesses; the locations of the damages the vehicles sustained; the conditions of the weather, lighting, and roadway; a diagram of the accident; information on any issued citations as a result of violated laws; opinions as to who is liable for the accident.

The Baltimore law enforcement office will collect the information and then submit the report to their department. At the scene, the office may issue a ticket to one or more of the drivers for traffic violations.

Ask for a card with the officer’s name on it in case you need to contact the officer later. The officer’s name will appear on the report, but the handwriting might be difficult to read.

While some states require that law enforcement be contacted and a report filed. It is often a good idea to file a police report even if the accident seems minor because injuries may not become apparent for days or weeks or all the damage to the car may not be immediately apparent or the other party may make false claims about the accident later on or the other party may admit fault but then change their mind.

Once you file your car accident claim with your insurance company, the adjuster may ask you to provide a copy of the police report, although some adjusters get the report on their own. If you’re asked to get a copy, you will need to request a copy from the local law enforcement office that drafted the report. All you should need to do is provide them with the identification number or the date, time, and location of the accident. There may be a fee for the report. It might take a few weeks for the Baltimore investigating officer to complete the report and for it to become available.

Sometimes the insurance company and the police officer’s opinions are different. This is why there are times when the police report is in your favor in terms of a fault determination, but the other driver’s insurance company still denies your claim. Of course, there are unscrupulous, “last resort” insurance companies that deny claims in the hope that drivers will give up and go away.

If you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident or in a car accident that becomes a personal injury lawsuit, the police accident report will affect your insurance claim and could be the document that determines liability.

If you are charged with causing a motor vehicle accident or have been involved in a motor vehicle accident in Maryland, you should talk to a Baltimore auto accident attorney. A Baltimore car accident lawyer can help. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Thomas J. Maronick have experience handling these cases. You can contact Thomas Maronick on his cellphone at 202.288.0167, the law office at 410.885.1775 or via our website for a free consultation.