In our previous blog post, we explored the myriad of benefits to interviewing police officers who attended the scene of an incident. Today, we want to dive deeper into some examples which highlight the transformative power of officer interviews, especially in cases where the police report left much to be desired.
- Have you received a heavily redacted police report?
- Has the police report offered only a fraction of the required information?
- Have you been told a police report isn’t available at all?!
If so, an officer interview is most likely to give you the answers you need!
The Seemingly Straightforward RTC
In a seemingly straightforward two-vehicle RTC, the initial police report had scant information. It merely mentioned the time, location, and the driver’s details – the latter of which were heavily redacted. More so, the report failed to address any witnesses to the incident.
During the officer interview, a detailed account was obtained from the moment they were actioned to the call. Notably, it was revealed that a witness had come forward, contradicting the third party’s statements. The eyewitness’s statement was read aloud by the officer during interview, and it was disclosed that the third party had been distracted by their phone moments before the collision, shedding new light on the incident circumstances. Thanks to this information, we were able to inform our client of the resultant criminal actions that were taken against the third party, and that the insured was not at fault.
A Tragic Event
In the instance of an incident involving a vehicle and a pedestrian there were many unknown factors. The incident itself was reported as minor but the police report stated the pedestrian sustained fatal injuries – and it failed to address the cause of death.
Through the officer’s account, insight was gained into the incident circumstances, and it was unveiled that the pedestrian sustained a minor arm injury. They were taken to taken to hospital only as a precaution. The officer later learnt that the pedestrian had died in the subsequent hours, and admittedly, they were shocked to hear the tragic news.
To get to the bottom of this incident, the officer conducted a series of inquiries to determine if the RTC was the cause of the pedestrian’s death. Details of the officer’s complex investigations were gathered during the interview – which alone is information not available within a police report.
The Ambiguous Vehicle Theft
With a motor vehicle theft claim, the police report left many questions unanswered. It stated the basic facts: the incident date and location, the vehicle type and VRN, and the vehicle’s registered keeper. However, the report lacked any sufficient detail in relation to the theft, the subsequent investigation that was carried out, if the assailant was apprehended, and whether the vehicle was ever recovered.
Interviewing the reporting officer provided essential insight. The officer remembered the car was taken without the true key as the key was stored in the insured’s pocket, and that the vehicle was reported to have been properly parked and secured upon the insured exiting the vehicle. Details of items that were stored within the vehicle at the time of the theft and their value were also provided. These details were not mentioned in any capacity in the report provided by the police.
For this matter, the vehicle was stolen within a small 4-minute window. It was therefore questioned whether the theft was genuine and if the insured was involved with the theft in some manner. By interviewing the officer, we were not only able to establish the known facts for this case but was able to obtain the officer’s knowledge from working on a car theft operation – specifically thefts without the presence of the true key. The officer explained that this incident was not isolated which led to him asserting that the theft was genuine. Of course, we need to know the officer’s reasoning for this and gained a detailed explanation of the officer’s subsequent inquiries that were carried out.
In each of these cases, the police report offered a limited view of the situation, leaving many questions unanswered. This goes to show that police reports, while essential, may not always provide the full story. It is the firsthand knowledge and deeper understanding of the incidents gathered through officer interviews that often uncover hidden details crucial to the resolution of claims.
Leveraging officer interviews through NetWatch can make all the difference in ensuring a just and accurate insurance claims process.
If you’ve encountered similar cases where a police report left you with unanswered questions, consider the power of officer interviews in shedding light on the truth. NetWatch is here to help you uncover crucial details that may be hidden. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our Interview & Statement Taking team for more information on how we can assist.