What is Found in a Police Report?

serious car accidentIf you’re involved in a serious car accident, there will likely be a report available about the crash. The report is generated by the police officer who arrives at the accident scene. This report is a summary of what the police officer observed at the scene of the crash and contains a lot of important information that may be useful for a settlement or lawsuit. Find out what this report contains and how to obtain it.

How to Get a Report

According to Nolo, there are two ways to go about obtaining a police report. You can try to get it for free by contacting your insurance company. If your representative has requested it, then he or she can give you a copy. If you insurance company doesn’t have it, then you can request a copy from the agency that arrived at the accident scene.

Contact the traffic division of that agency to request a copy for a small fee (around $15 or so). In any case, you’ll have to be patient and wait a few weeks for it to become available.

What’s Inside?

The report will contain information based on interviews with those involved in the crash, as well as observations from the police officer at the scene. This information includes:

  • When and where the accident occurred.
  • Contact and insurance information of the parties involved.
  • Contact information of any witnesses.
  • Vehicle damage.
  • Statements from those involved.
  • Weather conditions.
  • Road conditions that may have contributed to the accident.
  • Lighting.
  • Accident diagram.
  • Any traffic violations.

serious car accidentThe police report may also include opinions or observations from the police officer. This may include fault or possible reasons why the accident was caused.

What happens if you come across an error in the police report? You may be able to amend it, according to FindLaw. Most factual errors are fairly easy to fix. Contact the police department for assistance.

What Happens Next?

Once you obtain the report, be sure to share it with your attorney, especially if it is believed that the other party was at fault. It may take more evidence than a police report to win a court case or settlement, but a police report can certainly be helpful. It is definitely better than presenting no evidence at all, especially when the victim has suffered serious injuries and there is a lot of money at stake.

Sources:

Car accidents police reports
Obtaining and using a police report

Car Accident Statistics

You may notice a lot of traffic in your area, especially if you live in a metropolitan area such as Los Angeles – or anywhere in Southern California, for that matter. With so many cars on the roadway at the same time, accidents are bound to happen.

Car Accident StatisticsAccording to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, accident-related fatalities in the United States have been decreasing since 2006. From 2013 to 2014, deaths decreased from 32,894 to 32,675. However, crash-related injuries have risen from 2.31 million to 2.34 million.

Motorcycle fatalities have increased from 11% in 2005 to 14% in 2014. This 3% difference comprises 10 more fatalities. However, motorcyclist fatalities in the 40-49 age group have dropped. From 2013 to 2014, there were 158 fewer deaths. The good news is that fatalities involving semi truck crashes are on the decline. From 2013 to 2014, there was a 2% decrease – from 3,981 fatalities in 2013 to 3,903 in 2014.

Texas had the most traffic-related fatalities in both 2013 and 2014. Deaths increased from 3,389 to 3,538, a 4.4% change. California had the second-highest number of fatalities. It saw a 1.1% decrease, from 3,107 in 2013 to 3,074 in 2014. Wyoming saw the biggest percentage increase, at 72.4 %. Vermont saw the biggest drop, at 36.2%.

In 2013, South Carolina had the highest percentage of alcohol-related fatalities, at 44%. In 2014, it was a three-way tie among Massachusetts, North Dakota and Texas, at 41%.

The biggest increase from 2013 to 2014 was seen in Wyoming, when the numbers went from 24 to 48 – a 100% increase. Vermont saw the biggest decrease, at -52.6%.

There were some changes in fatalities based on crash location. While fatalities caused by urban crashes increased by 2.4%, those in rural crashes decreased by 5.8%. There were also decreases in fatalities caused at intersections and roadway departures.

California Accident Statistics

alcohol-related Car AccidentsHere are some statistics from the California Office of Traffic Safety: The national average alcohol-impaired driving fatality rate is 0.34. At 0.27, California’s rate is much better. Of the five states that have the largest number of traffic fatalities, California’s rate is the best. In California, alcohol-related traffic fatalities rose by 1% from 2013 to 2014. However, California’s rate of 29% is still better than the national average of 31%. In 2013, drug-impaired driving contributed to 32% of traffic-related fatalities in California.

Motorcycle fatalities rose from 463 to 519 – a 12% increase. Fatalities involving teens age 16 to 19 slightly increased from 216 to 220. Males comprise nearly 77% of teen fatalities.

Sources:

NHTSA

Traffic Safety

What is Traffic Collision Reconstruction?

What is Traffic Collision ReconstructionYou may have heard of serious accidents calling for collision reconstruction specialists to recreate the scene. Accident reconstruction requires a lot of analysis and investigation. It also requires a significant amount of training. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration created the first guidelines in 1985. Reconstructions are often done by private consultants who are hired by insurance companies and attorneys, but forensic engineers and law enforcement agencies do work in this field as well.

Believe it or not, accident reconstruction is a highly scientific field. It’s similar to a forensic scientist working to solve a crime. In fact, accident reconstruction involves a high level of forensic science in order to investigate the cause. It also involves physics and the study of movement. Oftentimes, the results of such reconstructions are used to improve roadways and make them safer.

The first thing specialists do is thoroughly investigate the accident scene. They take a look at the vehicles involved and collect evidence. This evidence may include photos, videos, witness accounts and measurements. It requires a specific methodology. This means working backwards with known data, from the point where the vehicle rested after the accident, in an attempt to find out the beginning – i.e., what caused the accident.

The specialists will analyze everything about the vehicles’ systems, such as braking, steering, speed, use of lights and turn signals, acceleration and cruise control. Skid marks are especially critical in investigations because the length often correlates with the speed. An investigation of the road conditions is also important because ice, puddles and debris can all contribute to accidents.

Technology is very useful for crash reconstruction specialists. Three-dimensional laser scanning allows specialists to input measurements and create computer models of the accident scene and vehicle damage. In addition, many new vehicles are equipped with onboard tools that record crash data such as speed, braking, acceleration and seatbelt usage. Crash reconstruction specialists also use highly specialized software to create simulations.

Once the analysis is formulated into a thorough report, crash reconstruction specialists then must present the findings – typically to a jury. This typically involves using forensic animation, which presents everything in video format so that it can be easily digested by those who may not be familiar with all the technicalities in the forensic science field.

Traffic collision reconstruction can help answer many unknown questions after a fatality accident. By understanding the cause, roadways can be improved, making driving safer for all.

Sources:

Traffic collision reconstruction
What is an ‘Accident Reconstruction’?

Professional Car Accident Attorney Santa Rosa Will Help You Receive the Justice You Deserve

When someone is injured in a car accident, that person is not acting alone or based solely on legal precedent. There are laws in place that are meant to deal with these situations, and these laws were enacted because the interests of justice and fairness needed to be codified so that everyone had the same opportunity to protect their legal rights after a crash. Nadrich & Cohen, LLP understands the details regarding these laws and how to use them to protect injured clients. Justice is about fairness, and fairness is achieved when someone who causes someone else to incur losses pays for those losses.

One person died in this three-car crash. (KATU News photo)

Laws are not only enacted to promote justice and fairness, but they are also enacted to help set examples for others. Therefore, when an attorney helps a client recover compensation, he or she may also be deterring others from acting in a negligent or reckless fashion when they get behind the wheels of their vehicles. This could ultimately lower the number of crashes that occur. If you or someone you love has been harmed by a negligent driver, you need to seek the help of an attorney who has been obtaining justice on behalf of injured clients for many years.

When someone is injured because of the negligent or reckless driving of someone else, that person’s life is instantly turned upside down through little or even no fault of his or her own. When someone is injured in a crash, that person faces several forms of loss that could include enormous medical costs, a prolonged period of lost income and the endurance of pain and suffering while that person fights for a medical recovery. Given the circumstances surrounding this type of a situation, justice is served when a person in this position ultimately recovers compensation that helps recapture losses suffered as a result of the crash. However, justice is more likely to be ultimately obtained with the help of car accident attorney Santa Rosa.

Hiring a good car accident attorney Santa Rosa is the most appropriate decision that help the victims and their families to cope with the situation and come back to normal life. Of course, making a claim for obtaining compensation for car accident is probably one of the most painstaking process particularly when the victim of an accident has faced severe casualties for the same. In such a condition when the victim is in tremendous physical and mental agony and the family members are spending their days in anxiety, hiring a well reputed attorney is the most prominent option that lies in the family.