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How to acquire and use a police report

After you are injured in a car accident, there are many steps that must be taken before you can obtain justice and be awarded damages in an injury claim. Especially at the beginning stages, it can seem overwhelming to know where to start. In situations like this, having a team of experienced professionals on your side and fighting for your rights can make an enormous difference. No matter how you choose to pursue fair compensation for your losses, you will almost certainly want to obtain a copy of the police report for your accident.

Obtaining the police report is a fairly simple matter, because such reports are a public record. All you must do is go to the office of the police department (or other agency) that responded to the scene of your accident and request the report that was generated by the responding officer. There may be a fee associated with printing a copy, and you may have to go acquire the document in person at the agency's office.

Once you have the report, it is useful know how to use it. The report is not some magical document that will pave the way to a windfall, and in many cases is not even admissible in court, but it can be quite useful in informal negotiation. in addition to containing the basic time and place information about the accident, it will feature the reporting officer's notes about the accident and who may have been at fault, as well as information about anyone who may have witnessed the accident. All of these are useful for creating leverage when dealing with the other parties in a negotiation, and are most often used to settle outside of the court system.

However you choose to pursue justice after your accident, it is wise to consider building a team of professionals who know the field and the intricacies of the system. With proper guidance by an experienced attorney, you can focus on the important work of healing from your injuries and getting back to living, resting assured that your rights will remain protected.

Source: Findlaw, "Obtaining and Using a Police Report," accessed Jan. 06, 2017

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