Evidence Considerations: Police Reports

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When accidents occur, usually the police are called and a report is written. When a report is adverse to another, a claims professional may call into question the report’s contents by alleging, “The police did not witness the accident.”  This argument is raised in an attempt to bolster the claim professional’s own liability arguments.

As arbitrators, we expect to see these arguments from time to time. However, it’s important to understand that police officers are trained investigators. When warranted, they view the aftermath, talk with involved parties to capture statements, and document important physical details such as vehicle positions and damage. The immediacy of the crash fosters the most accurate recollections from involved parties, which is valuable information to record. When the officers have finished gathering key details, they complete an analysis to determine if the information leads to a likely cause, and then document it.