A highway patrol crash report refers to a summary of the information concerning a motor vehicle collision. The report contains both the facts relating to the crash and the opinions of the highway patrol. A crash report may not be used as evidence during a trial.
Contact our Orange County Car Accident Attorneys at El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers to discuss your car accident and learn your legal options.
Highway Patrol Crash Report
At the scene of the crash, a number of tasks are conducted by the investigating highway patrol, such as measuring distances, writing notes, inspecting vehicles, and taking photographs. These are done with the motive of gathering the necessary information that will be used to draft the crash report.
The crash report often contains:
- The approximate time, date, and location of the car accident
- Information identifying the parties involved in the accident, including names, phone numbers, addresses, and insurance information
- Information identifying the witnesses
- Location of the damage to the vehicles involved in the car accident
- Roadway and lighting conditions at the car accident scene
- Diagram of the car accident
- Citations and violations of the state law
- Statements from witnesses and parties of the car accident
- Opinions of the highway patrol concerning the cause of the crash and a fault determination
Facts vs. Opinions
The information documented in the Orange county highway patrol crash report can be a fact or an opinion. For instance, the time, date, and location of the crash are facts. On the other hand, fault determinations are the opinions of the highway patrol.
Everyone has an entitlement to their own opinion. The insurance company also carries out its own investigation and gives an opinion on which party is at fault. Sometimes the opinions of the insurance company and the highway patrol are different. That is why the legal representation from our Orange County car accident attorneys is absolutely important.
How Can a Highway Patrol Crash Report be Used to Settle Your Case?
If a crash report isn’t admissible in a trial, how then can it help? Our Orange County car accident attorneys use the crash report to negotiate a settlement for you. The highway patrol crash report can help your case in several ways, including:
- The insurance adjuster asks for a copy of the crash report before negotiating a car accident settlement.
- The highway patrol has no personal stake in your case and is therefore an unbiased witness. Observations given by the highway patrol concerning what happened and the injuries sustained are more persuasive than statements of witnesses.
- The insurance adjuster is less likely to argue the determination of a highway patrol concerning their driver’s liability. Especially because the highway patrol was at the car accident scene and the jury would find the testimony more believable.
- The highway patrol crash report can lead our attorneys to other witnesses of the car accident. The witnesses can provide substantial information for negotiation with the adjuster from the insurance company.
Contact El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers
In case no one contacted a highway patrol after your car accident, don’t let that stop you from obtaining compensation. The experienced Orange County car accident attorneys at El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers will see to it that your settlement is fairly and justly done.
Call us at 888-542-6021 to schedule a free consultation and receive the compensation you deserve.