If you were involved in an auto accident in Rhode Island, one of the most crucial steps to piece together a solid claim is making sure a police report is filed. Even if your accident was just a “fender bender” and you feel perfectly fine after, you may start to experience injury symptoms days later.
An official police report makes it more likely that you will be compensated for medical treatment or time spent away from work.
If you have any questions on how the process works, an experienced Providence auto accident attorney at our law firm can help. We also offer an in-depth guide on what you can expect to find in a police report.
Evidence that supports your claim
After you’ve been involved in an accident, it’s important that you call the police right away. When police arrive at the scene of the crash, they will do the following:
- Check to see if anyone needs medical attention.
- Examine the crash scene for tire marks and other pieces of evidence indicating how the accident occurred.
- Document the location of the accident and the direction vehicles were traveling.
- Document road conditions, road defects, and other environmental factors.
- Find out if any traffic violations were committed and issue citations as needed.
- Collect statements from witnesses.
- Search for evidence of alcohol or drug impairment.
In some cases, the police may not arrive at the crash scene. When this happens, you must take pictures and speak to witnesses. You must then submit this evidence to your local or state police.
Accident reports in Rhode Island are typically available to retrieve 72 hours after being filed unless your crash is under an extensive investigation.
Why hire an attorney?
You will need to report the accident to your insurance company. However, you should do so with caution. Insurance companies, including your own, are only interested in reducing their costs – not making sure that you are compensated for your medical expenses, lost wages, and suffering. Simply report that you were involved in an accident and only provide minimal, factual details. Anything you tell insurance companies will most likely be recorded and can be used to hurt your claim.
After those initial steps have been completed, consult with a highly skilled auto accident attorney who can advocate for you. Your attorney will use evidence obtained in the police report to support your claim. Even if the insurance company, or the other driver, attempts to pin the blame on you, a police report will provide hard evidence of what really happened. To learn how we can help you, contact us today.