Should I File a Police Report After Being Involved in a Truck Accident?
Calling the police to come to the scene of a truck accident and file a report is often critical to proving fault. In fact, Pennsylvania law requires that you report a traffic accident any time someone is injured or killed.
What If I Don’t Think I’m Injured?
Truck accidents are typically devastating and can cause catastrophic injuries that are immediately noticeable. However, if you believe you survived unscathed, you still could be injured and not know it. Some severe injuries can have hidden or delayed symptoms, especially with how much adrenaline is coursing through your body after a collision. Delayed symptoms can be a sign of severe trauma, which is why you must see a doctor immediately after a crash to protect your health. It is also why you should still file a police report. If you do wind up being injured and fail to notify the police of the accident, your injury claim can become much more complicated.
Insurance companies often use police reports to validate an accident, decide on who caused it and gather information about property damage and any injuries.
Without a police report, an insurer could argue that your injuries were not related to the crash.
What Information Is Included in a Police Report for a Truck Accident?
Law enforcement has extensive experience with many types of accidents, and their report will often include the following:
- Basic Details: The date, time, and location of the truck accident. This can be important to prove that the crash did occur.
- Contact Information: The name, address, phone numbers, insurance company, and policy number for all parties involved. Contact information for any witnesses to the accident will also be included, but still, ask for their information if you can. If there is a dispute as to who caused the accident, a witness may be able to corroborate your version of the events.
- Injuries: Any injuries the officer witnessed will be mentioned, which can help you prove your injuries were caused by the accident.
- Driver Statements: The officer will interview you and the truck driver. These statements can be vital since they may contain admissions of fault and/or the truth about how the accident happened.
- Narrative of Events: The police report will also contain the officer’s conclusions on what they believe happened and how the accident occurred.
- Diagram: A diagram may be included of the accident scene, where the vehicles came to rest, and the point of impact.
- Vehicle damage: Where the damage is to each of the vehicles involved will also be noted and may mention any other damaged property.
- Pictures: The officer may take photos of the scene, the damage, and injuries, depending on the accident severity.
- Weather and Road Conditions: If the weather may have played a role in the collision or road conditions, the report can include that information.
- Traffic Violations. The report will state whether the officer issued any citations, which can be powerful evidence of a truck driver’s negligence.
A police report will not be admissible if your case makes it to trial, but most cases resolve beforehand and will play a vital role when negotiating compensation.