The admissibility of police reports in injury cases in Chicago is a complicated subject. To learn how a police report can help strengthen your compensation claim, reach out to our attorneys after an accident.
Depending on the circumstances of your accident in Chicago, the police report may be inadmissible in your injury claim. For example, traffic accident reports are not considered evidence in Illinois. Even if some or all of the police report is inadmissible in your injury case, you should still obtain a copy of the police report. These reports can be useful to our attorneys when building a case, regardless of their admissibility. To prove a negligent party’s fault, our attorneys will turn to admissible evidence, such as eyewitness testimony, security camera footage, and medical records, so that your Chicago injury case is successful.
Our attorneys are dedicated to helping injury victims in Chicago recover the compensatory damages they deserve. For a free case evaluation with the Chicago personal injury lawyers at the Rhatigan Law Offices, call today at (312) 578-8502.
Is My Police Report Admissible in an Injury Case in Chicago?
In Chicago, determining the admissibility of a police report as evidence in an injury case can be complicated. To learn whether or not your police report is admissible and can be used as evidence against a negligent party, contact our Chicago personal injury lawyers.
Although Illinois does have a hearsay exception for public records in civil cases, it notably excludes police reports for traffic accidents, according to Illinois Rules of Evidence 803(8). This means, depending on the circumstances of the incident that caused the victim’s injury, a police report may be inadmissible in an injury claim.
Hearsay refers to information learned by police officers second-hand, not information they learned by witnessing events themselves. For example, witness statements included in police reports about a negligent party’s actions may be considered hearsay. Suppose a police officer can’t testify to information within a police report on the stand. In that case, that information in a police report may be inadmissible in an injury case in Chicago.
If a police officer witnessed events themselves, that information might be admissible. However, witnessing an accident as it occurs is relatively rare, meaning often, police reports cannot be considered evidence in certain injury claims in Chicago.
Illinois does allow for public records to be admitted in certain circumstances. To learn how this applies to your case, reach out to our Illinois personal injury lawyers for clarification.
Should I Get a Police Report if it isn’t Admissible in a Chicago Injury Case?
Even if some or all of the information within a police report is inadmissible in an injury case in Chicago, victims should still get a copy of their report. Police reports can contain vital information useful to our attorneys when building a compensation claim against a negligent party.
Regardless of the admissibility of the police report for your accident, be sure to get a copy of your report if a negligent party caused you injury in Chicago. Even when inadmissible in an injury claim, police reports can be very useful to our lawyers. Police reports might contain certain information about an accident, like its time and location, that can help our attorneys better understand the sequence of events. Police reports may also contain the contact information of eyewitnesses, whose testimony can be helpful in an injury claim in Chicago.
After an accident resulting in injury, victims might have difficulty recalling what happened. When healing from serious injuries, victims may be unable to be in constant contact with our attorneys to answer detailed questions about an accident’s events. For these reasons and many more, getting a police report after an accident is crucial, regardless of whether or not it is admissible in your injury case in Chicago.
What if My Chicago Police Report isn’t Admissible in an Injury Case?
If the police report for your Chicago accident isn’t admissible in an injury case, our attorneys will be prepared to uncover other evidence of fault. Even if certain aspects of a police report are admissible, our lawyers will gather supporting evidence that proves a negligent party caused your injuries.
When our attorneys have a police report for an incident, they can learn of potential eyewitnesses. Then, our Naperville personal injury lawyers can contact eyewitnesses so that they can testify in your compensation claim. Eyewitness testimony can be crucial in a lawsuit against a negligent party and is not considered hearsay in injury claims in Chicago.
Security Camera Footage
Police reports contain basic information about an incident, such as its location. Upon learning that information, our attorneys can visit an accident site to see if there are private security cameras in the area. Depending on an accident’s location, security, doorbell, or dashboard cameras may have filmed an incident. If so, our lawyers can contact security camera owners to request potential footage. This footage can be valuable evidence in an injury case in Chicago. In addition to security camera footage, photos or videos taken by eyewitnesses or victims can help prove fault against a negligent party in Chicago.
Police observations of a victim’s injuries in a police report might be admissible in a Chicago injury claim, depending on the circumstances of an accident. That said, it is still important to reinforce that information with additional evidence of your injuries. Using your medical records from the days, weeks, and months following an incident, our attorneys can prove the severity of your injuries and connect them to an at-fault party’s negligence in a Chicago injury case.
Call Our Chicago Lawyers About Your Injury Claim Today
If you were recently injured in an accident in Chicago, our attorneys can help. For a free case evaluation with the Rockford personal injury lawyers at the Rhatigan Law Offices, call today at (312) 578-8502.