A motor vehicle accident can cause both physical and emotional damage to a victim. If the injuries are serious enough, a collision can also cause financial hardship for the victim and the victim’s family. Fortunately, the law allows a victim to pursue monetary compensation if another party’s negligence caused, or contributed to, the crash. First, however, the victim must prove that the other party was at fault. One piece of evidence that might be used to help prove fault is the crash report. What happens though if the crash report is wrong?
Like most states, the State of Louisiana requires you to notify law enforcement immediately after an accident if the accident caused injury or death to a person or if the accident caused more than $500 in property damage. Because it is difficult to know with certainty the value of damages to property, or even whether or not any occupants of the vehicles were injured, it is usually best to notify law enforcement any time you are involved in an accident.
If law enforcement officers are called to the scene a police report will be prepared and filed. Though the contents of an accident report can vary, most include things such as:
- Names and contact information for the parties involved in the accident
- Witness information
- A description of the vehicles involved
- Whether anyone was cited for any traffic violations
- A diagram depicting what likely occurred.
- A brief narrative explaining what happened
The officer who prepares the report uses clues at the scene along with statements from the parties and witnesses to create the narrative found on the accident report. The important thing to remember is that the description of the crash is essentially nothing more than the officer’s opinion of what occurred. A law enforcement officer does not decide negligence for the purposes of a civil personal injury lawsuit. A police officer has the authority to write tickets for traffic infractions or for a violation of criminal laws; however, negligence is a civil matter that is determined through a civil lawsuit.
If you were involved in a collision in Alexandria and the crash report is inaccurate you should certainly bring the inaccuracies to the attention of your personal injury accident attorney at your first meeting; however, keep in mind that the report is only one piece of potential evidence. Other evidence, such as witness accounts, physical damage to the vehicles, and even an accident reconstructionist’s report, will ultimately be more persuasive in most cases than the description of the accident found on the crash report.
If you were recently involved in a motor vehicle accident in the State of Louisiana and you believe that another party caused, or contributed to, the crash you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the Louisiana personal injury attorneys at Broussard & Hart, LLC by calling 337-439-2450 to schedule your appointment today to discuss your legal options.