After a motorcycle accident, the police should be called to the scene to render aid and document important details. These details are usually recorded in an official report that might come up in a lawsuit.
After a motorcycle crash, the police report, or at least parts of it, might be an important piece of evidence in your case. Our NYC Motorcycle Accident Lawyers can help you use the police report to your advantage. For a free, no obligation in-office consultation contact Michael J. Redenburg, Esq. PC at 212-240-9465. We recently secured a $100,000.00 Settlement for an NYC motorcycle accident victim, with said settlement representing the adverse vehicle's insurance policy limit.
How to Use Police Reports in Your NYC Motorcycle Accident Case
The word of law enforcement officials carries much weight, and people often trust information from the police about investigations. Courts do not always see it this way, and things like police reports are not automatically admitted as evidence because they might be considered hearsay, as discussed further below. Even so, whether or not the police report from your accident is admissible evidence, our NYC motorcycle accident lawyers may be able to use it to your advantage.
Building the Case
Building up your case often begins by reviewing the police report from your motorcycle accident. A wealth of valuable information might be contained in the report, even though some might not be admissible in court. Rather than hold up the police report in court, we can use the information from the report to find admissible evidence.
For example, the police report might contain statements from witnesses who said they saw the defendant driving recklessly before slamming into you and your motorcycle. Rather than try to admit those states from the report in court, we can use the report to track down the witnesses who made those statements and ask them to testify in court about what they saw.
Testifying as a witness can be nerve-racking. Witnesses often stumble through their testimony or completely forget important details. In such cases, attorneys can use things like police reports to refresh the recollection of the person testifying. The report is not read aloud to the court but is instead quietly reviewed by the witness. In many cases, this tactic is used when a witness made a statement to the police about the accident, the police put that statement in the report, and the witness forgets about that statement on the witness stand.
Impeaching a Witness
Similar to refreshing a witness' recollection, we can use the police report to impeach a witness or undermine their credibility. This strategy often comes up when a witness is lying or embellishing their testimony. For example, the police might have interviewed a witness about your motorcycle accident who said they saw the defendant drinking heavily shortly before the crash. Such a statement would likely be contained in the police report. Next, suppose that same witness gets on the witness stand and says they never saw the defendant before the crash. In that case, we could use the police report to show that they told a very different story to the police earlier.
Can I Use a Police Report from a Motorcycle Accident in NY as Evidence?
While a police report about a motorcycle accident might be rich with useful information, it might not be completely admissible. While certain aspects of the report can be used in court, other aspects are barred as hearsay. Hearsay includes statements or declarations (written and oral) made by someone not in court and not presenting the information on the witness stand.
Police reports are often considered hearsay because they are usually written by police officers with no first-hand knowledge of the accident. Instead, they gather information from people who witnessed the accident. Our NYC motorcycle accident attorneys can review the police report and determine what information can and cannot be used.
What is Contained in a Police Report for a Motorcycle Accident in NY?
You must contact the police immediately after a motorcycle accident, even if you think the accident was not severe. You could have unseen injuries that might not reveal themselves until later, and you might need to file a lawsuit to get your costly damages covered by the negligent driver who hit you. Once you contact the police, speak to our New York City motorcycle accident lawyers for the help and guidance you need and deserve.
The police report contains a myriad of details about the crash. The police are trained to investigate crashes and have the tools and experience to observe, measure, and record accurate data. For example, various measurable facts about the crash may be recorded and contained in the police report. The distance between vehicles, measurements of tire marks, and identifying details (e.g., make, model, color) of vehicles should be in the report.
The report may also contain important information about the people involved. The number of drivers involved in the crash, passengers, and witnesses might all be mentioned in the police report. This might be useful later if one of the other parties tried to claim they were not involved in the accident.
The police should also take notes about damage. If your motorcycle has only minor damage, moderate damage, or is completely totaled, it should be described in the police report. Other important details about the crash, like the location and injuries, should also be in the report.
In addition to facts and measurable data, the police may include conclusions and opinions drawn from the facts of the crash. For example, the officer writing the report might include their opinion on how the crash happened and whom they believe is responsible.
Call Our NYC Motorcycle Accident Lawyer for a Free Case Evaluation
If you were in a motorcycle accident and the police came to the scene, you may be able to use parts of the resulting police report as evidence in your case. Call 212-240-9465 for a free, in-office consultation and get the wheels of justice spinning for you!
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