Do Police Reports Establish Fault Regarding Car Accidents?

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I was driving onto the ramp on a highway during early morning rush hour (bumper to bumper). As I approached the highway with my left signal flashing, the cars were so backed up I could not safely merge. I accelerated a bit when I saw an opening in front of a dump truck. I accelerated enough to merge into the space in front of him (there were at least 2 car lengths ahead of him, trucks are supposed to be slow to accelerate) and just as I began to merge onto the highway, he hit my rear driver side door, scraping and denting it. On the police ‘complaint’ (the officer did not file a formal police report, instead it was a single piece of typed white paper) it says that 1: Drivers exchanged information. We never exchanged information! The only thing that happened was that we pulled over to the side, I rolled my window down to ask if he was okay(he got out to approach my SUV), he ignored my question and asked if I was calling the police before returning back to his truck. When the officer showed up, he took my license and registration and I’m assuming the other drivers’ as well. He then walked past my truck to give the information to the truck driver first and took a few minutes before coming back to give me mine. He left again to go to his car. Here is where I have my 2nd complaint: the officer never asked me about my side of the story. He only spoke to me while I was giving him my info, where I said I was trying to merge when he hit me. The police ‘complaint’ has his license plate number and his driver’s license ID( the CID #?) but other than that, I have none of his information. What do I do about the false information? Any advice on my situation would be very helpful! I live in New York if that helps.

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

You need to contact your insurance agency and they will investigate the matter. Police reports usually document general information pertaining to car accidents and does not establish fault per se. Your insurance company will typically ask you to explain what happened, inspect your vehicle for damages, and generate a report as to possible scenarios of fault to determine liability. Your insurance company will contact the other driver’s insurance company to sort through everything.

If you do not have car insurance, you will have to conduct your own investigation to try and establish fault. It may be in your best interest to contact a car accident attorney for legal advice.

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Author: House Attorney