A police report is not admissible on court. Still, that same report can prove beneficial in certain circumstances. For instance, police reports have the ability to influence the size of a settlement, especially if any one of them gets introduced during an early stage of the claims process.
How the victim of a car accident can secure the police report
Get the name of the officer that arrives at the scene of the accident.
Go to the agency where that same officer must report findings from various accident sites. Ask for a copy of the report that relates to your case.
Why a police report can prove so beneficial?
The facts shared with the officer should be in that report. Those facts concern what took place at the time of the accident’s occurrence. The same facts should be included in any demand letter that will be sent to the defendant’s insurance company.
The report’s findings shed light on the identity of the person that should be held responsible for the reported incident. For that reason, insurance companies study the information in those same findings. If an opposing party has been named responsible, a claimant/plaintiff can use the police report as a settlement tool.
The officer that comes to the scene of an on-road incident takes the name and contact information for any witnesses. Those names get added to the officer’s report. Later, a plaintiff or their injury lawyer in Kingston could contact those witnesses, and could obtain a statement.
Unfortunately, all police reports are of limited benefit
That is due to the fact that none of those same reports can be used as evidence during a trial. The judge would not allow the introduction of a statement that could qualify as hearsay.
What is hearsay?
That is a statement that attempts to share a fact or opinion that was stated by another individual. Hearsay cannot be introduced in a courtroom, because the attorney for the other side cannot cross-examine the original speaker/witness.
Still, there is one time when a judge could allow the introduction of a statement that might qualify as hearsay. That exception to the general rule could alter the judge’s usual decision, if the defendant had played some part in keeping a witness out of the courtroom.
For instance, a defendant might arrange for a given witness to be harmed just days before he or she has been scheduled to testify at a trial. That might incapacitate the witness, so that he or she cannot offer the scheduled testimony. Still, that same witness could read a statement to a designated member of the court.
Later, someone could read the written statement in the courtroom. The judge should not object to the introduction of “hearsay.”