Our Michigan auto accident lawyers represent car accident injury victims throughout the entire State of Michigan. The first step that we take in investigating your case is to get the police Traffic Crash Report.
What Information is in a Michigan Car Accident Report?
The car accident report contains important facts about the accident. This includes details about:
- Damage to the vehicles (type and location of damage)
- Road type (paved, gravel, hills, number of lanes, etc.)
- Road conditions (dry, wet, icy, loose gravel, pot holes, etc.)
- Weather conditions (rain, snow, fog, sunny, clear, etc.)
- Traffic control device (traffic light, stop sign, yield sign, etc.)
- Time of the accident
- Specific location of the accident
- Information about the drivers and occupants of the vehicles
- Information about all witnesses and eyewitnesses
- Types of injuries suffered by all persons involved in the accident
- A description about how the accident occurred
- Who was at fault in the accident
What if the Information in the Accident Report is Incorrect?
Most times, the investigating police officer did not witness the accident. The officer is relying on a basic inspection of the vehicles and informal witness interviews. The officer's conclusions about who was at fault in the accident can be based on misinformation or a misunderstanding as to how the accident happened. Often, one party to the accident has been transported to the hospital and the other party is the only person to give a version of the accident. This may be a self-serving statement and given just to blame the other driver for causing the crash.
If the information in the report is inaccurate, you should have the opportunity to submit your own version of the accident to the investigating police department. The department may consider your version and then change the finding of fault. If not, you always have the opportunity to dispute the findings at a traffic court hearing.
Can I Contact the Witnesses Listed in the Traffic Crash Report?
Yes. There is nothing that prohibits you from contacting and speaking to witnesses. They may not want to speak with you and that is their option. Our law firm hires investigators to go out and interview eyewitnesses to get more detailed statements than might be in the accident report. These statements help us prove that the other driver caused the accident.
If a civil lawsuit is filed for our client, we can also subpoena witnesses for depositions. These are sworn statements under oath given in the presence of attorneys and a court reporter. Our attorneys are experts at asking the right questions to prove negligence in these lawsuits. This helps us win substantial settlements for our clients.
Are Police Reports Admissible in Court at the Time of a Trial?
Under the Michigan Rules of Evidence, the police reports are not admissible as evidence during a trial. The investigating officer can refer to the information in the report during the officer's testimony, but the document itself is not admissible. Drawings and diagrams contained in the report may be admissible if the judge allows it during trial.
How do I Get my Michigan Traffic Accident Report?
If you were involved in a Michigan auto accident, you will want to get your police accident report as well. This is often required by the insurance companies for filing personal injury claims, claims for Michigan No-Fault Insurance Benefits, and for property damage claims. If your auto accident was investigated by a local police agency, you can contact that police department directly to find out how to obtain the accident report. You can also obtain the Traffic Crash Report for any Michigan Law Enforcement Agency online the Michigan State Police website.
How do I Read my Michigan Police Accident Report?
Once you obtain your Traffic Crash Report, you will need to understand exactly how to read your car accident report. There may be additional facts to the accident that are not included in this report that put you at fault for the accident, when it was the other driver’s fault. Our attorneys have seen many instances in which our client was injured and at the hospital when the police officer was investigating the accident and only the statement of the other driver was taken as to what happened. The police then issued a traffic citation to our client, who was not at fault in the accident.
Our Michigan auto accident lawyers also hire our own investigators to interview witnesses and track down evidence in the case. Our accident investigators are often able to track down statements from eyewitnesses that help prove exactly how the accident happened and that our client was not at fault for the accident. We have won a substantial number of car accident lawsuits in cases in which the police placed fault on our client at the accident scene but we later proved it was someone else’s fault.
Contact Our Michigan Auto Accident Lawyers
For more information about your rights after a car accident in Michigan, call our award auto accident attorneys at (800) 606-1717 and one of our lawyers will be available to speak with you. We will listen to your story and explain how we can help you get your Michigan no-fault insurance benefits and win the highest possible settlement for your injury cases.
We do not charge any legal fees for advice from our lawyers. Additionally, if you have a case, we will represent you under our No Fee Promise, which means you will not be responsible for payment until you receive a settlement check. There is absolutely nothing to lose so call our office today to get started on your claim!