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Do police reports help crash victims prove negligence in court?

In some cases, police that arrive upon the scene of a motor vehicle accident will prepare a report. That police report may contain important information. Readers may consequently wonder: Can a police report be used as evidence in a personal injury lawsuit?

The answer is not clear-cut. Although it is an official record, the statements within the report are generally considered hearsay if offered to prove the truth of the matter or statement asserted. However, an attorney that focuses on personal injury lawsuits knows that a good strategy can be to bring the police officer in to testify as a witness during trial.

Yet even with a police report and an officer's testimony, a motor vehicle accident victim may face an uphill battle in proving whether another driver was negligent. For starters, insurance companies may have techniques for minimizing damage and personal injury estimates, or even for suggesting alternative theories of liability.

A personal injury lawsuit can also get more complicated if the accident involved a driver for a commercial trucking company. Since that company could be liable for the acts of an employee who was acting within the scope of his or her employment at the time of the accident, it's hardly surprising that a commercial trucking company might have its own legal defense team. As a result, a truck accident victim may need to bring a lawsuit not just against the individual truck driver, but also the commercial trucking company and its insurance carrier. 

Without the help of a personal injury attorney, there may be less pressure on a truck company to be forthcoming in its communications with the crash victim. Similarly, witnesses or other evidence from the scene of the crash may also not be properly preserved or recorded without an attorney's assistance. 

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you may need an investigative strategy that considers multiple theories. A personal injury lawyer can help you build a strong case. To learn more, check out our firm's motor vehicle accident page. 

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