I was a passenger injured in a bad car accident on a Friday but did not have any externally visible injuries. The police report does not list any injuries for me. But I was in some pain and went to the doctor the next working day (Monday). I turned out I had 2 minor fractures.
Is it a problem that the police report lists that I did not have any injuries for claiming damages? I don't think they took any statement from me on the spot but I am not certain (I did speak to them)
Is the police report injury sheet filled out after statements? Is it treated as conclusive evidence?
You do not need to be concerned about the information on the police report. Officers investigating accidents are primarily trying to decide if anyone should be charged with a crime. Insurance companies look to police reports for the basic facts of an accident but the reports often contain errors and omissions. The police report is hearsay and will not be admitted as evidence at trial. You should speak to a personal injury attorney without delay to discuss your rights arising out of the accident.
No, the police report is not conclusive evidence of your injuries. In fact, in your case, it's probably mostly irrelevant for purposes of determining whether you were injured. Your doctor's report is the most important evidence of your injuries. You should obtain and keep a copy of any medical records.
If you want an attorney's help, you should call a personal injury attorney.
Jame P. Mascaro, Esq.
9160 Irvine Center Drive, Suite 200
Irvine, California 92618
Tel: (949) 769-3610
Fax: (888) 491-2961
Personal injury attorney serving clients throughout Southern California, including Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego and San Bernardino counties.
While a certain amount of weight is given to police reports, they are not treated as conclusive evidence. Find an attorney to handle this for you. Police reports are often missing information or contain misinformation. It is also not uncommon for people to think that they are not injured and for it to take a few days for injuries to manifest and be diagnosed. The extent of damages to which you might be entitled will depend on CA law, so I cannot address that.
The information in the police report is not likely admissible evidence as both you and the police officer are not medical doctors and cannot diagnose injuries. It is very common for people in motor vehicle collisions to tell the investigating office that s/he is not injured, only to later discover that s/he is, in fact, injured are requires medical treatment.
Nevertheless, you would be well served to contact a CA personal injury attorney without delay.
The police report will not preclude you from getting compensation for the injuries caused by the collision. Feel free to call me to discuss this matter.
S. David Rosenthal
2251 Douglas Blvd., Ste. 120
Roseville, CA 95661
No, the police report is not evidence at all of the injuries you sustained. It is hearsay and more importantly the police officer will not qualify as a medical expert at the time of trial and so his opinion as to whether you did or did not sustain any injuires will not be allowed into evidence upon proper objection. You do need to consult a good personal injury attorney in order to make sure the police report cannot be used against you by the opposing insurance company as they will attempt to do so. Carriers never believe any one is ever hurt and they will try to argue that you sustained those fractures elsewhere as silly as that sounds. You have a claim that has potential value but only an attorney who practices personal injury law will be able to extract that full value from a carrier who want to give you $100 for your "trouble". Don't let that happen to you. Make sure the attorney belongs to one or all of the Plaintiff attorney associations such as CAOC, CAALA, OCTLA or AAJ.
I generally agree with the other responses and wriote only to note that it is quite common for someone "in shock" not to recognize injury while in that condition (the term "shock" is used somewhat loosely in this context and includes someone who has just been involved in a traumatic incident that triggered a release of endorphins and/or enkephalins - chemicals contained in our brains - which occurrence is known to have the potential to mask one's pain symptoms).
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