Your car accident lawyer is going to need the right information to pursue your case. The documentation that you provide helps them value your damages and prove your right to compensation. Your lawyer is going to need to see your motor vehicle accident report. Our Kansas City car accident lawyers explain why.
Does my lawyer need to see my motor vehicle accident report?
Your lawyer needs to review the information in your motor vehicle accident report. It can help them see the parties involved, identify the witnesses and understand the cause of the crash. The report has a lot of the necessary information to begin working on the claim.
What does my lawyer look for in a motor vehicle accident report?
In a motor vehicle accident report, your lawyer may look for:
- The parties involved
- Vehicle types involved
- Whether a law enforcement officer investigated at the scene. (They may be a valuable witness.)
- A description of the type of collision (pedestrian, multiple motor vehicles, single-vehicle, etc.)
- Identification of injuries or a lack of injuries
- Whether evidentiary photos were taken and what investigating agency has the photos
- If accident reconstruction was done and what agency has the report
- The location
- Road surfaces involved
- Weather and road conditions
- Time of day and lighting
- Whether alcohol or drugs may have been a factor
- Driving errors and omissions that may have contributed to the crash
A Missouri motor vehicle accident report may contain a great deal of information. It is the reporting officer’s observations and opinions written down in one place.
It shouldn’t be seen as the final authority – ultimately, a court of law determines fault and your right to compensation, unless you settle the case by agreement. But a motor vehicle accident report may have a wealth of information. It is a launching point for your lawyer’s investigation. Your lawyer builds on it to conduct their own investigation of the case and your right to compensation.
Is a motor vehicle accident report admissible in court?
The general rule is that a motor vehicle accident report is not admissible in court. According to Chapter XI – Basic Evidence of the Judge Charles Billings Missouri court bench book, statements in a police report likely contain hearsay which is not admissible under court rules of evidence.
The person wishing to put in the information should call the officer at the hearing rather than trying to admit their police report. The report may be used to refresh the officer’s recollection, if necessary.
Are car accident reports public record in Missouri?
Car accident reports are available to the public in Missouri. A person does not have to be a party to the accident to request a copy of the report, but some information may be exempt from disclosure.
Where can I find a Missouri car accident crash report?
A Missouri car accident crash report should be available from the Missouri State Highway Patrol Online Traffic Crash Reports database or from the Missouri Department of Revenue, Driver License Bureau using Motor Vehicle Accident Report Form 1140. If the local police investigated the crash, contact the local agency for a copy of their report.
A report may be official or unofficial. The investigating officer completes the official report once they have all the information. That means information can change from the unofficial report.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol charges a $4.90 fee to produce a motor vehicle crash report. Wait at least 10 days from the date of the crash and then complete the request by using the Missouri State Highway Patrol Request for Traffic Crash Report. The form has the addresses to mail the request as well as instructions to use a check or money order for payment.
How can a lawyer help with a motor vehicle accident report?
An experienced lawyer can review your motor vehicle accident report and build on the information. What is included in the report is critical to helping you investigate your claim. Your lawyer can help you see where information is incomplete or where it may be incorrect. They can gather the evidence in a way that is admissible if your case goes to court. Ultimately, they know how to evaluate the report and use it effectively to build your case.
Attorneys for Accident Claims
Have you been in an accident? Let our team of lawyers at the Krause & Kinsman Law Firm evaluate the motor vehicle accident report and help you claim compensation. Contact us today.