Do Police Reports Truly Determine Who Is At-Fault?

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Today, I’d like to address a few important questions pertaining to police reports.

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As a personal injury law firm focusing primarily on motor vehicle incidents, we deal with a lot of police reports. Today, I want to take a minute to explain some things you must know about police reports.

We receive a lot of questions about the validity of these reports, how they are used in evidence, and how you can fight police reports that might falsely put you at fault for an accident.

Follow along in the video above for an example of what these reports look like.

When it comes to determining fault, the police report is just a starting point.


Generally in San Diego, the first party listed in the report is the at-fault party, while the claimant is listed second. This information will appear on the first page of the police report. The later pages will summarize what happened based on evidence gathered at the scene.

The report will have a conclusion, but this conclusion is merely the police’s opinion on who caused the accident based on information gathered from the scene. However, reports often lack sufficient information, which can cause these conclusions to be unreliable.

In other words, the police report is just a starting point. Even if a person is listed at-fault, additional evidence could be found to show that the other party was actually responsible.

This is why it’s so crucial to do a thorough investigation regardless of what the police report shows. If you’re ever in a motor vehicle accident and have questions relating to the topic we talked about today, or anything else, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We’re always here to help.