After a car accident, a law enforcement officer will come out, do an investigation of the scene, and prepare a Crash Report. The reports are usually completed and ready to be released within a week. You can purchase a copy of your police report on buycrash.com or go to the police station.
Once you get the report, you should be able to follow it and find it straight forward. But that brings up an important question, what is the most important information and what areas of the report do want to make sure are accurate.
We will answer these questions below, but first I would like to let you know what information the insurance claims adjuster is going to be looking at to investigate and determine liability/responsibility for the accident. Here are the top 3 things the insurance adjuster will look at when they get the Indiana Standard Crash Report.
The Vehicle that was the Primary Cause of the Crash
Did the police officer, deputy sheriff or trooper determine who was the primary cause of the accident. You will find this on page 1:
Narrative & Diagram on Page
The insurance adjuster will skim the report and after looking at the primary cause determination, they will go to page 2 and review the narrative and the last page to review the diagram. The law enforcement officer will typically write down what each driver told them, if there were witnesses they may write down what the witness(es) told them, and they will draw a diagram. The diagrams are not to scale but you must make sure that they are somewhat correct. For instance, make sure that the north, south, east and west are accurate.
If there are inaccuracies in the report, it will give the insurance adjuster the ability to deny or delay making a liability or claims decision. The longer this takes, the longer it may take to get your car fixed, totaled or receive a rental vehicle.
Did You Have Pain at the Scene?
Next, the insurance adjuster will look at the report to see if you complained of pain, requested EMS or were transported to the hospital. You can imagine how this information can be used against you. If there is no notation of pain, the adjuster will take the position that you weren't injured, even though most folks are pretty hyped up after an accident and many times don't feel pain until a day or two after the crash.
Just like the insurance adjuster, when you receive your crash report you should take a few minutes to check the primary cause, the narrative and the diagram to make sure the information is factually correct.
If you have any questions about a Michigan City car accident, call Guy DiMartino Law at (219) 690-8997.