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Do I Need a Police Report to Prove Fault in a Car Crash?

You might think that a police report is the final word on who is responsible for a car crash, but many times, that’s not the case. While insurance companies and courts may consider a police report when deciding who is to blame for injuries or damages resulting from a crash, in many cases, the report will only be part of the evidence considered.

Not All Crashes Result in a Police Report

In New York City, for example, if you’re involved in a minor “fender bender” where no one is injured, and the damage to the vehicle is $1000 or less, you’re not required to contact the police or to have a police report on file. Otherwise, in most cases, you must contact police and file your own Report of a Motor Vehicle Accident, called an MV-104, with the New York State DMV.

The Police Report Isn’t the Final Word on the Cause of the Crash

Police reports are typically filled out at the scene or shortly thereafter, based on what the officer is told by the people involved in the crash, the crash scene evidence, and what witnesses tell the officer they saw. It’s not necessarily the product of a comprehensive investigation into the crash and, in many cases, will include mistaken descriptions of the events leading up to the crash.

Other evidence, such as security camera footage, additional witness statements, vehicle “black box” data, or other physical evidence, can provide more information about who is responsible for the crash. A court considering who is responsible for a vehicle crash will consider all of that relevant evidence, not just the police report.

How Campson & Campson Can Help

If you’ve been involved in a car accident and are considering filing a lawsuit to recover for your serious injuries, damages, lost income, or other related losses, or if you’re being sued as a result of a crash, Campson & Campson can help you. In some cases, we can investigate the accident further and may be able to uncover additional information helpful to your case. In any case, we have the experience and understanding of New York law and procedure to represent you in discussions with insurance companies and, where necessary, in court. Contact us today at (212) 302-1180 or by using our online form to learn more about how we can help.

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