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Are Police Reports Admissible in Injury Cases in Indiana?


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After any harmful car accident, a police officer should visit the scene to create an accident report. These reports can contain a variety of information suggesting how an accident happened. For example, a police report may contain statements from witnesses, a crash diagram, or personal notes from the drafting officer regarding the accident’s cause.

Generally, police reports are not admissible at trial in injury cases in Indiana. However, the information provided in a police report can still be useful when building your case and negotiating with a defendant’s insurance company. Our attorneys can help recover and review a copy of the officer’s accident report in your case.

If you were injured because of a car crash in Indiana, get help building your case against the at-fault driver. Get in touch with our experienced Indiana car accident lawyers by calling Wruck Paupore at (219) 322-1166. Our attorneys can review your case for free.

Admissibility of Police Reports in Injury Cases in Indiana

Statements made within police reports are considered hearsay and are inadmissible at trial. There are exceptions to the hearsay rule that allow for the admissibility of public records. Still, these exceptions do not extend to the use of police reports in personal injury cases.

According to the Indiana Rules of Evidence 803(8)(B)(i), investigative reports prepared by police and other law enforcement personnel are not excepted from the rule against hearsay, except when offered by an accused in a criminal case. Injury cases are not criminal, so police reports will typically be inadmissible. Still, these reports can be useful to our Indianapolis car accident lawyers when building victims’ cases and negotiating for fair compensation.

How Are Police Reports Used in Injury Cases in Indiana?

Despite being inadmissible in court, police reports can still be very valuable when seeking compensation for your car accident injuries. First, police reports can contain a wide array of information that helps establish fault for accidents. For example, this can include contact information for eyewitnesses, descriptions of property damaged by the crash, and diagrams showing how the collision occurred. All of this data can be very useful when gathering evidence and building your case against an at-fault driver.

Additionally, a police report often indicates how the drafting officer will testify if your car accident lawsuit goes to trial. If the officer contradicts their own police report when testifying, then the contents of the report may be brought forth to discredit the officer’s statements.

Lastly, parties to car accident lawsuits often negotiate settlement agreements before trial. When parties to a case reach a settlement agreement, the defendant pays an agreed-upon sum of damages to the plaintiff in exchange for their case being dismissed. During settlement negotiations, police reports can be very helpful when seeking fair offers from defendants’ insurers. Such reports are often among the first pieces of evidence analyzed by insurance adjusters and attorneys when determining fault for a crash. Furthermore, many insurance companies will require copies of police reports before issuing settlement offers.

If you suffer a harmful car crash, you should remain at the scene until a police officer has visited to complete their accident report. Afterward, our Fort Wayne car accident lawyers can help recover a copy of the report and review its contents.

What Information is Included in a Police Report in Indiana?

Police reports typically contain information that can be useful when determining fault for car accidents. Any of the following information may be included in your report:

  • The location and time of the accident
  • Contact information for all of the drivers involved in the accident
  • Insurance information for all of the drivers involved in the accident
  • An evaluation of the damage caused by the accident
  • An evaluation of weather and road conditions
  • Testimony from eyewitnesses
  • Testimony from drivers involved in the accident
  • A drawn diagram depicting how the collision occurred
  • Personal notes from the drafting officer regarding how the collision occurred

Assessing the contents of a police report is not always a straightforward task. The assistance of our experienced Hammond car accident lawyers can be highly beneficial when reviewing your report and choosing the proper course of action.

How to Obtain a Copy of Your Police Report in Indiana

The easiest and quickest way to recover a copy of your police report in Indiana is to go online. In some cases, before leaving crash scenes, reporting officers may give drivers instructions on how to access their reports online. Reports can be accessed online by visiting BuyCrash.com.

You may also recover a physical copy of your police report in person. This may be the preferred option for plaintiffs who lack internet connections or struggle to use the computer. To obtain a copy of your report in person, you should visit the police station that has jurisdiction over the area where your accident occurred.

If you contact one of our Indiana car accident lawyers, we can also obtain this report on your behalf and review it with you, free of charge.

Can You Dispute Incorrect Information in Your Police Report in Indiana?

Unfortunately, in some cases, police officers will include incorrect information in their reports. If the information in your report is not properly recorded, your ability to recover fair compensation can be affected. Fortunately, you can dispute any of the following types of errors made in your police report:

  • Factual errors
  • Inaccurate transcriptions
  • Errors of exclusion

The first step to take when attempting to dispute incorrect information in your police report is to contact the reporting officer to request an alteration to your report. However, many officers will be hesitant to make such changes. Accordingly, you may provide your own statement regarding the details surrounding your crash. Our South Bend car accident lawyers can help draft your statement and have it attached to the incorrect police report.

If You Suffered a Car Crash in Indiana, Our Attorneys Can Help

If you were hurt because of a car accident, seek support from our experienced Indiana car accident lawyers by calling Wruck Paupore at (219) 322-1166 to review your case for free.

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Don is a founding partner and one of the nation’s top-ranked personal injury litigators. He is a member of the Multi-million Dollar Advocates Forum, which includes less than 1% of the nation’s trial lawyers, and awarded the highest ranking given by Martindale Hubbel and AVVO.

More importantly, Don understands representing personal injury victims is about more than recovering the best settlement: it’s about helping clients get back on their feet and supporting them in every aspect of their recovery.

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In nearly all cases, our clients seek compensation from the wrongdoer’s insurance company. Before forming Wruck Paupore, Jason worked for a prominent law firm representing some of the world’s largest insurers. This experience gives Jason a deep understanding of the insurance industry and the strategies it uses to pay injury victims as little as possible.

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For more than four decades, Keith has been fighting for injury victims. During that time, he’s watched the insurance industry change, with insurers now more interested in protecting their stock price than treating injury victims fairly.

Since the beginning, Keith has put people first. From his childhood in Gary, Indiana during the 1960’s and working his way through law school, Keith has risen to become one of the Midwest’s most respected trial lawyers. He has never forgotten that being a lawyer is about helping people -- and seeing injury victims through struggles in a way that could change their lives forever.

Over the decades, Keith, Don and Jason have fought relentlessly for clients, even when other lawyers have said the case was impossible to win.

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