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What if the police report says I caused the accident?


In many cases after a car crash, a police officer investigates and generates a report that may not become available for a few weeks. Upon getting the report, you may be surprised to see that the officer considers you at fault for the car accident.

If this is the case, does that mean you cannot sue for help with damages and injuries, among other things? The answer is that you can still file a lawsuit. Insurance companies tend to do their own investigations and make determinations based on these investigations.

What is in a police report?

The police report contains information, such as the time and location of the crash. It also contains statements, diagrams, contact information, what violations occurred or what laws may have been broken and fault determinations, among other items. However, these things that seem like facts are not always facts. For example, a witness who said the crash occurred at a certain time may have been mistaken. Or, say both drivers sustained head injuries and gave unreliable statements. The officer’s fault determination could be shaky for any number of reasons that are not evident to anyone except to you.

What insurance companies do

In any case, insurance companies have their own way of doing things. As they begin an investigation, the police report is a resource they look at but by no means the only one. Often, adjusters will talk to you and the other driver and any witnesses. They may go to the crash scene and take their own photos of the damage to the cars. They are also likely to check you out on social media.

What you should do

If you are considering a lawsuit to seek compensation, it is a good idea to seek the help of an attorney no matter what. However, this becomes even more important if the police report does not line up with what you believe happened. An attorney can guide you in discussions with the insurance company and even with the police.