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Are Police Reports Admissible in Injury Cases in Wisconsin?


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After an accident resulting in injury, victims should alert law enforcement officials and get a police report. Though all portions of a police report may not be admissible in an injury case, a police report can still be helpful to our attorneys.

In Wisconsin, police reports based on hearsay are inadmissible in injury cases. Unless a police officer witnessed an incident, which is rare, or they personally observed certain information, their subsequent report will likely not be considered evidence in a claim. That said, police reports are still useful. Our attorneys can help you obtain and review a police report as part of a legal service we provide to uncover information that leads to evidence. Then, using eyewitness statements, security camera footage, photographs, and medical records, our lawyers can prove a negligent party’s fault in an injury case in Wisconsin.

Our attorneys are dedicated to helping injury victims in Wisconsin recover the compensatory damages they deserve. For a free case evaluation with the Wisconsin personal injury lawyers at Wruck Paupore, call today at (219) 322-1166.

Is a Police Report Admissible in My Wisconsin Injury Case?

After an incident resulting in injuries, victims should call the police. Officers can then complete a police report detailing an incident’s events, which can be helpful to our Wisconsin personal injury lawyers. While useful when building a case, certain information in police reports may not be admissible in Wisconsin injury cases.

When law enforcement officials create police reports after an incident, they largely base included information on involved persons’ and eyewitnesses’ accounts. Because of that, much of the information in police reports is considered hearsay, making it inadmissible in a personal injury claim.

In the rare circumstance that a police officer witnessed an incident and then created a police report, that report might be admissible in a claim. Copies of police reports containing certain observable information, such as the accident location and certain damages, might be admissible, according to Wis. Stat. § 889.18(2). However, as held in several court opinions, including Smith v. Rural Mut. Ins. Co. (1963), Novakofski v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. (1967), and Wilder v. Classified Risk Ins. Co. (1970), information within police reports not learned from police observation is not admissible evidence in personal injury claims. Essentially, if a police officer cannot testify to certain information in a police report, it is inadmissible in an injury case.

Fortunately, our Milwaukee personal injury lawyers are aware of this, which is why we’re prepared to uncover other evidence of negligence to prove fault and help you recover the compensation you deserve after an accident.

Why Are Police Reports Important if They’re Not Admissible in Wisconsin Injury Cases?

Despite certain information within them being inadmissible in injury claims in Wisconsin, police reports are still important. After an incident of any kind, call law enforcement officials and then obtain a copy of your police report. Our attorneys can assess the information within a police report to learn more about a recent incident that caused you injury in Wisconsin.

It’s always important to get a police report after an incident in Wisconsin. Though certain information within a police report will not be considered evidence in your personal injury claim, a police report can be invaluable when building a case. Our attorneys can use the information learned from a police report to get in contact with eyewitnesses to learn their account of an incident.

While not proof of negligence, police reports might indicate negligence, allowing our lawyers to identify an at-fault party and begin building a case. Police reports can provide other vital information, like incident location and time, as well as details that victims might have difficulty recalling because of the trauma of an accident.

Much goes into building a strong compensation claim in Wisconsin, including gathering any and all information that may help our attorneys form a well-rounded understanding of an accident’s events. So, although a police report is likely inadmissible in your lawsuit, obtaining it is still crucial.

How to Prove Fault if Your Wisconsin Police Report isn’t Admissible in an Injury Case?

In Wisconsin, information in police reports based on hearsay is inadmissible in injury claims. That said, you may not need to rely solely on a police report to prove fault when you hire our experienced Wisconsin personal injury lawyers. Our attorneys can use other evidence, like eyewitness testimony, security camera footage, and medical records, to prove that a negligent party caused your injuries.

Eyewitness Statements

Depending on the circumstances of your recent incident in Wisconsin, there may have been eyewitnesses. If so, police officers may have included their contact information within an incident report. Our attorneys can enlist eyewitnesses to testify regarding an at-fault party’s negligence, which can serve as vital evidence in a compensation claim. Without having a copy of a police report for an accident, it may be difficult to identify and contact eyewitnesses after the fact.

Security Camera Footage

Certain accidents, like slip and falls or car accidents, might happen in view of security cameras. Our attorneys can learn the location of a recent incident from a police report and visit the area to determine if security cameras are in the vicinity. If so, we may be able to use the footage from those cameras as evidence in a case to demonstrate an accident’s events and help prove negligence. Other images, like photographs taken at the scene by victims or eyewitnesses, can also be useful evidence in an injury case in Wisconsin.

Medical Records

Often, police reports note injuries to victims. Although that information within a police report may not be admissible in an injury claim if a police officer did not observe injuries, medical records are often admissible. Using your medical records from the aftermath of an incident, our West Lafayette personal injury lawyers can connect your injuries to an at-fault party’s negligence. Be sure to seek immediate and continuous medical care after any accident to properly document your injuries and create compelling evidence that can help you recover compensation against a negligent party in Wisconsin.

Call Our Lawyers About Your Injury Case Today

If you were recently injured in Wisconsin and require compensation, our attorneys can help. For a free case evaluation with the personal injury lawyers at Wruck Paupore, call today at (219) 322-1166.

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Top-Rated Litigator.
Helping injury victims move forward.

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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