Gathering Evidence Through Open Records Request
Almost all car and truck accidents result in the police being called to the scene. As part of their investigation, the police will speak to all persons involved in the wreck, talk to witnesses, and try and obtain any video footage depicting the wreck. Afterwards, the investigating police officer will write up a report of his findings. The police report will detail how he or she thinks the accident occurred, and who he or she thinks was at fault for causing the incident. A typical police report will only be a few pages long and not contain too much detail.
Why Do an Open Records Request
An open records request is a request to obtain the ENTIRE file compiled by the police officer. This would include a copy of any written statements made by the parties involved in the car or truck accident, including the driver that hit you. Witness statements may also be included, if the officer had witnesses give such statements. In some cases, the officer may have audio and video recordings, which could be important in cases where the driver that hit you is trying to escape responsibility. An open records request should be sent to try and preserve such evidence to be used later if your case does not resolve.
Open Records Request to 911
Another request that should be sent is a request to 911. Typically, 911 calls are recorded, which identify the time of the call, the callers name and phone number, as well as the actual conversation. Once again, a 911 open records request will preserve evidence on how the wreck occurred, which once again can be used when the person that hit you is trying to change their story and escape responsibility. Often times witnesses to your car or truck wreck will call 911 describing what they remember leading up to the accident. Witness statements may include that the other driver was driving recklessly, not paying attention to the road, speeding, swerving, or even worse using their phone. Yet again, this would be used as evidence to prove your injury case.