In most Louisiana car accidents, the incident will be investigated by police. It is common for at least one if not two or more police officers reporting to the scene, interviewing the drivers involved as well as any witnesses. The vehicles will be inspected by police as well as the scene. Once this is completed, an accident report will be completed detailing what the officer was able to observe and what was heard based on his or her investigation. New Orleans Police officers are the first to arrive on the scene and will be the ones who document what happened, noting who is at fault based on the information at hand.
Information Included Within a Police Report
As the local police create a report after an accident, important information found in this report can be helpful to your case, if you have a claim to file in New Orleans. Below are a few categories of important information found within a police report:
Statements in a New Orleans Police Report
The police officer on the scene will record what each driver has to say about how the car accident took place. Any witnesses will also make a statement as to what they saw occur.
Diagram of the Accident Scene
A rough sketch will also be included in the police report that will be a drawing of the accident scene. When a serious collision occurs, the officer may take photos and call in assistance from the accident reconstruction team of the police department in order to have the crash site analyzed.
The Conclusion of Fault
Within the police report, the officer on the scene will write a narrative of their opinion of what happened during the accident. This can involve who or what they feel caused the accident to occur. Information will be provided as to any citations that were issued due to the accident along with which driver was cited.
Officers will include the location of the accident within the report including any damage that exists on the vehicles involved, if any had to be towed, etc.
Also noted within the report are injuries. Anyone who was injured in the crash along with the severity of the injury will be noted by police. If an ambulance transports anyone from the scene, this will be noted as well, including the company name of the ambulance and the hospital where the patient was taken.
Typically, a police officer is seen as an independent party as they are not connected to anyone involved in the car accident. Often times, a judge in a New Orleans car accident case and the jury will defer to what the police officer says in their investigation of the wreck to conclude what happened.
Despite this conclusion, no one is right 100% of the time. If you find that you have been involved in a car accident and the police report is contradictory to your case, a Louisiana car accident attorney can help. If the report puts you at fault incorrectly, you have a reason to be concerned and should seek legal counsel. The police report may also indicate that you are not injured, when in fact, you are. This is when medical professionals are used. You may not have left the scene in an ambulance, but saw a medical professional afterward for injury needs.
Overall, the police report is not the last word when it comes to a New Orleans car accident case. It is an important piece of evidence and will be considered during any case.
If you have been involved in a car accident and feel you are wrongly being accused of being at fault or just need help in determining if you have a case, contact our office today.