Establishing Who is at Fault

If you get into a car accident that involves serious injury and/or property damage, there’s a good possibility that a police officer will show up on the scene. The officer will have immediate responsibilities (determining if anyone needs medical attention, getting the damaged cars out of the way of traffic, etc.), but afterward he or she will file a report about the accident to establish who is in fault.

These reports can be a critical factor in deciding who is at fault for the accident, and they are used by insurance companies and the legal system in making financial awards. The police report will have the officer’s best determination as to how the accident happened and who was at fault. Police officers will usually take statements from the people involved, so it’s important to be careful about what you say. Unfortunately, most of us are somewhat upset and traumatized after a serious accident, and we may not be thinking clearly when we talk to the officer. People will often say things that can be taken the wrong way, even admitting fault for the accident, and will regret what they said later. If you are in this situation it can seem bleak, because the other driver’s insurance company may use the police report as leverage to get you or your insurance company to pay for any medical costs or damages.

All is not lost, however, even if the police report says that the accident was caused by you. With the help of a personal injury attorney who is experienced in dealing with unfavorable police reports, you can get a much better outcome. In Georgia, that means contacting Michael W. McElroy, P.C., for a free consultation.