Do You NEED A Police Report if You Were In A Car Crash? WHY?

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February 13  

Why is Police Report important?

If you've been involved in a car crash or a bicycle accident, motorcycle accident, truck accident and they are a lot of other lawyers who will tell you to get a police report if you call your insurance. After a crash, they'll tell you to get a police report all that stuff because it's important. But for the insurance company, it's important for their records, and the police they'll tell you to make a police report, so the government has an official record.

But why is it so important for you to get a police report if you've been hurt in an accident, I'll tell you exactly why and I'm not going to take you all day to do it this. I don't know if you guys have ever seen a full police report, but basically you know the police talks to everybody they ask to see the license and the insurance of everybody. If there's a witness that comes forward, the cop will take the witnesses information down all that information gets put in the police report.

Basic Info Are Needed

If you've been involved in a crash for sure knowing the defendants full name in a very legible way that we can read is super important and knowing their address, their date of birth, their driver's license number, their license plate number, and even their phone number a lot of times. Sometimes defendants get into crashes and then they duck us, and they dodge us, but the more information I have about them the more I can get about them using special databases and using private investigators. And if somebody crashes into you and is dodging responsibility with that information even if it's an old address, we can hunt them down, so that's important.

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The Insurance Needs The Information

The other thing is insurance information, if somebody has a good insurer, it's a felony to have a fake insurance card in your car. But sometimes it happens so if somebody has an insurance card, and they give it to the police and it's legit. Then we can contact the insurance company directly and then they acknowledge that the claim is open which is good for you, now we're dealing directly with the decision-maker. Getting to the insurance company and figuring out who the insurance adjuster is super-important.

It Will Help Us Remember What Happened

The third thing is sometimes, time goes by, and people forget exactly where the crash happened. If we have a police report, most cases settle before we file a lawsuit. But if they don't settle, we have to give a deposition and having a police report that can remind us of exactly when the crash happened, where it happened, the circumstances, what color the other vehicle was, and which direction everybody was going. You know more information is always better so being able to identify the defendant, being able to figure out who the insurance is, and having a reminder of all the details of the accident for us to rely on. Since it’s created by a police officer, it helps your case so the advice you get here and elsewhere to always make a police report after a crash is 100% correct.

I know that waiting at a police station, the police officers at the desk are usually not super excited about doing a crash report on a crash that happened a day or two ago. But you should keep that in mind, I'm doing it for a reason. The last thing I'll say because it just reminded me after a certain amount of time to do a police report.

For you, they're like,

“Oh well, this guy's got to do it. Oh, that guy's got to do it.”

And they'll make you sit there for an hour, and they'll come up with some excuse as to why they can't do a police report, right?

I don't I mean I'm sure all departments have rules and guidelines about how long after a crash but basically you want to try and make a crash report within a day within 24 hours or at most 48 hours. There might be some exceptions if you're hospitalized and the police don't come to the hospital, but that's what usually happens. They will come to the hospital if you're in any kind of motor vehicle crash, car crash, truck crash, bicycle crash and or if you’re in a pedestrian and a car hits you.

Always get a police report and even if you don't get a copy of the police report, if you have that RD number or report number, the police department made the report. That's really all I need, I can order the official police report for you.

If you have questions please give me a call, I offer a free consultation and you can reach me 24/7. I'm happy to talk to you, you can reach out to me if you have any question, give me a call 312 500 4500.

Now, what are case costs?

Well, while the case is going on the lawyer must pay to order your medical records, pay to order a police report. We might need to consult a doctor, and get a doctor to write a report for us or a liability expert like a structural engineer or an architect—like that all those things are case costs that the lawyer pays out of his or her pocket. The way it works is if you win the case, the lawyer gets paid back just the amount of money that he or she advanced to push your case forward. Because after all, if we need a doctor to prove your case, we have to pay the doctor to come in and be a witness. We can't really proof your case without ordering the medical records for example so those are costs that are like things that we have to spend money on and you only pay the lawyer back the case costs that they incur.

In my office, I'm very tight with case costs. I don't spend money on unnecessary things, I've seen some law firms that spend thousands and thousands of dollars on stuff that I think is pretty much not necessary. I keep my case costs very low because my goal is to put as much money in my clients pocket not in an investigator, or God knows, what else people spend money on. So, I'm very tight, I only spend the money I absolutely have, technically you owe the lawyer to be paid back whether you win the case or lose the case.

But, this is what I'll tell you, it is common practice that if the case goes south you don't pay the money back, like in my office I don't think I've ever asked a client for case costs even if the case goes south. Even if you know, I withdraw on the case or you know we go to court and we lose which virtually never happens, but it's always a risk. I don't think I've ever ever asked a client for a penny of money, either while the case was pending or afterwards, it all just comes out of the settlement. So, case costs are definitely set separate from the attorney's fee, but they're really nothing to worry about at my office and in most reputable lawyers offices, most reputable lawyers write off it, case cost is a business loss if the case doesn't result in a recovery for the injured person.

I hope this clarifies the difference between case costs and legal fees. I'm happy to talk to you, you can reach out to me if you have any question, give me a call 312-500-4500.

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