The high volume of traffic in and between cities like New Bedford, Providence and Fall River inevitably leads to more car accidents, truck accidents and motorcycle accidents. Busy areas like Bald Hill Road in Warwick or Warren Ave. / Route 6 in Seekonk are filled with distracted drivers rushing around and multitasking. Getting into any type of car accident can be a frightening and confusing experience. One moment you’re going about your day, running errands or heading in to work, then you’re caught off guard when a distracted driver crashes into you. Preparing yourself for what to do ahead of time can be very helpful. Here are some tips to help you…
First Things First, Call the Police
One of the first things that you need to do when you’ve been in a car accident is to call the local police. At the scene of the accident, a police officer’s duty is to make sure everyone is safe and to manage the logistics like automobile removal, traffic movement, and to document the accident. After the accident, however, they may also have a role in helping to determine fault.
Filing A Police Report
After a car accident is reported to the police, officers are responsible for preparing a police report about what happened. A police officer will interview the drivers and any witnesses about the car accident, asking a series of questions designed to piece together an accurate account of what occurred. The police report may contain a statement about who was at fault in the accident based on the police officer’s professional judgment, but many police reports do not include a determination of fault. It is important to understand that even if a police report states who was responsible for a car accident, this does not automatically mean that the person will be held legally responsible (or “liable”) for damages in a subsequent lawsuit.
Issuing Traffic Citations
As part of a police officer’s investigation into a car accident, he or she may issue one or more traffic citations. A traffic citation is a notice issued by a law enforcement officer that accuses a driver of violating a traffic law such as exceeding the speed limit or making an unlawful turn. It may indicate that a penalty such as a fine or deduction of points has been or will be assessed against the driver. A traffic citation may also require a driver to appear in traffic court. While a traffic citation will not ultimately prove who is legally responsible for a car accident in a subsequent lawsuit, it may be used as evidence that the driver was negligent. This will be discussed more thoroughly below.
In certain circumstances, the police officer may be asked to come in to the court room as a witness in your case. Their perspective can be very helpful in supporting and elaborating on the details of the police report, citing the conditions surrounding the accident and those involved.
Contact An Experienced Massachusetts & Rhode Island Auto Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one were injured in a car accident in Massachusetts or Rhode Island, contact one of our experienced car accident attorneys. We will walk you through the details of your claim and help you to get the compensation that you deserve.
*The above is not to be considered as legal advice. Every case is different and the laws which apply may differ from state to state.
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