One thing our Cincinnati car accident lawyers always tell our clients is to take certain steps after their car crash. Once you have checked to make sure everybody in your car is okay, you need to call 911. No matter how minor the crash may seem, you have an obligation to call the police and report the crash. Not only that, but you want the police there. Not only will they do a thorough investigation of the accident, but they’ll check to see if the other driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They will also check to make sure that both drivers have valid licenses as well as valid insurance policies.
You may not understand just how important it is to call the cops. What we will do here is explain why it’s vital that you call the police after your accident. We will also explain, step-by-step, what the officers will do once they arrive at the scene. If you have any questions about your own car accident, feel free to contact our office directly. You can meet with one of our Cincinnati injury lawyers free of charge.
The Police Officers Will Check to See if Anybody Needs Medical Attention
The first thing the police are going to do when they arrive at the accident scene is check to make sure everybody’s okay. If anybody needs emergency medical attention, they will arrange for an ambulance to take them to the local emergency room. Even if you don’t think that you’re seriously injured, you still need to go get checked out. However, if you don’t have any serious injuries, you can wait until the police complete their investigation to go. In fact, if you ask, the officers will arrange for an ambulance to take you to the hospital as well.
You’ll Have to Provide the Police with a Copy of Your License, Registration, and Insurance
As soon as the police arrive, they will ask you and the other driver for a copy of your driver’s license, registration, and insurance. There are a few reasons for this. First, the police want to make sure that both drivers have a valid driver’s license. In addition, they need to make sure that both drivers have valid insurance as required by law. The other important reason they do this is so that they can put the information into the police report. The best tool your Cincinnati car accident lawyer will have when trying to prove your case is the police report. It contains information that your attorney cannot get any other way than through that report. Even if this is the only reason you call 911, you need to make sure you do it no matter how much the other driver asks you not to.
The Police Will Investigate the Accident Scene
Obviously, the police officers are going to investigate the accident scene. They will look to see if there are any tire marks or skid marks on the road. They will take a description of the road conditions down and put it into the report. They are also going to look at the damage done to the vehicles. Police officers are trained to investigate these accidents. Sometimes, they can tell by looking at the damage of the cars how the impact happened. For example, if there’s significant damage to the back of your car, they will presume that it was a rear end collision. If, on the other hand, the side panel of your vehicle is smashed in, they will probably presume that it was a T-bone accident. Either way, this will go a long way toward proving who was at fault. Since your Cincinnati injury lawyer will already have their hands full doing this, this is an important tool that they will need.
If Need Be, the Police Will Interview Any Eyewitnesses
Some clients have no idea how critical eyewitnesses can be. Even in a car accident lawsuit, a statement from an eyewitness can make or break your case. The problem is that if you don’t call the police, you will have no idea if there were any eyewitnesses. And if there were, they’re not going to be willing to speak to you or the other driver. If the police don’t come and speak to the witnesses themselves, your attorney will not have contact information for them. This means that your Cincinnati car accident lawyer will have absolutely no way of getting in touch with the eyewitnesses later to get their statement.
The Police Will Put Their Findings in Their Final Report
Once the police complete their investigation, they will put all their findings into their police report. This report will be made available to you and your Cincinnati injury lawyer within a day or two. The information in that report is going to be critical to proving your case. For example, if there’s a notation in the file that the police arrested the other driver for drunk driving, that will go a long way toward proving negligence. In fact, if this is the case, your Cincinnati car accident lawyer may also be able to demand punitive damages.
Your Cincinnati Car Accident Lawyer Needs this Police Report to Prove Your Case
As stated throughout this article, the most important reason you need the police to come to the scene is so that you can prove your case. If the other driver was at fault, then your Cincinnati car accident lawyer will fight to get you the damages you deserve. However, without a police report, it will become a he-said, she-said situation. What typically happens in these situations is that whoever calls the insurance company first with their statement wins. The other driver can tell their insurance carrier anything they want at this point. If there’s no police report to controvert what they’re saying, then your Cincinnati car accident lawyer will be fighting an uphill battle.
We suggest that you call our office and schedule your free, initial consultation right away. Once the officers have cleared the scene and you’ve been cleared by a medical doctor, you should call her office and set up a date and time to come in.