Did you try consulting a Buffalo car accident lawyer after your NY crash? If you did, when you called to schedule the consultation, they probably told you to bring the police car accident report with you. If you did not make the appointment yet, you should have the report ready, as all car accident attorneys want to see it. When they do not inquire about the report, it probably means that they are going to obtain it themselves.
Why Do Buffalo Car Accident Lawyers Care So Much about the Police Accident Report?
No matter how the accident occurred and who reported it, the report filed by the police represents important evidence. It is probably the most importance piece of evidence in the respective case, containing important information:
- Details regarding the accident scene: location, description, context, surroundings
- Contact and insurance details of the parties involved and potential witnesses
- Details on how the accident occurred and who was at fault for it
- Description of the accident consequences (damages, injuries, etc.)
- Accident sketch illustrating the direction the vehicles were following and their position at the time of the accident
Moreover, the report is prepared by a law enforcement officer familiar with traffic laws and objective. This makes it more reliable than any version of the facts the parties involved may provide. Of course, the report is only available if the parties involved in the accident complied with their reporting obligations.
Reporting Obligations in NY Car Accidents
The DMV website intuitively explains drivers’ reporting obligations. According to it, drivers should report any accidents involving property damage of minimum $1,000. They should do so even when the damaged vehicle is theirs and there are no other damages involved. The deadline for filing the report is of 10 days.
When the accident results in damages to a parked or unattended vehicle, the driver involved should make efforts to locate the owner. Locating the owner is also the duty of those who hurt domestic animals. When the owner cannot be located, the best thing to do is to contact the police.
The police should always be notified when a car accident results in injuries to a person. If their condition allows it, the parties involved should remain at the scene until the law enforcement officers arrive. They should request medical assistance for the injured, if necessary, and exchange contact and insurance information.
Leaving the scene of an accident of failure to report it could have serious repercussions. It could bring about fines of thousands of dollars, driving license suspension, and even jail time, depending on the severity of the accident. The obligations of the drivers involved in traffic accidents are described in NY Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 600.
But the police accident report is not important only because the law imposes it and it may provide useful information. NY law places the burden of proof on accident victims seeking compensation for their losses. In order to recover damages, accident victims need to prove how the accident occurred, who was at fault for it, and what consequences it had.
The police accident report is a piece of evidence in itself. It can also be a starting point for further investigations. Experienced Buffalo car accident attorneys will use it to locate witnesses, obtain video recordings from the accident scene, recreate the accident, find further ways to prove liability, etc.
Thus, if you’re going to consult a car accident lawyer regarding your case, make sure you obtain the police accident report. It will allow the attorney you consult to get a more accurate assessment of your case. This will enable them to provide more helpful advice and answer your questions in detail.
Once you have the report, you can schedule the consultation. The good news is that many law firms in Buffalo review cases for free. This means you can enjoy a free consultation with their lawyers just to find out what they have to say. If you like what you hear, you can hire them to handle your case. if not, you are free to walk away and consult another lawyer.
Make an Appointment with One of the Best Buffalo Car Accident Attorneys Now!
At Buffalo Car Accident Lawyers, we too prefer to see the car accident report for the cases we review. If you do not have the report yet, we can help you obtain it. Schedule a consultation with a car accident lawyer now and let us assess what your legal options are!