While you may understand the need to file a police report if you suffered immediate injuries in a car accident, you may be tempted not to bother contacting the police if you believe your crash was “minor” with little damage to your vehicle and no injuries. However, this would be a mistake. You may discover that the cost to repair your vehicle is significantly more than you thought, or symptoms of a serious injury may develop in the days following your wreck. If either or both of these occurs, you will need to file a claim for compensation with the negligent driver’s insurance company. By filing a police report, you protect your legal rights and strengthen your claim for compensation.
Why a Police Report Is Important
Filing a police report documents that your accident occurred—sometimes disputed by the negligent driver and his insurance company if a crash is not reported. In addition, it provides a neutral, third-party perspective of how your wreck occurred. While the actual police report is not admissible in court, the information in it and the police officer’s conclusions can be persuasive evidence proving the other driver’s negligence when negotiating your settlement with the insurance company. Helpful information this report can provide includes:
- Date, time, and place of the wreck
- Contact information for the driver and his insurance company
- Statements by drivers, passengers, and witnesses as to the cause of the crash
- Damage to motor vehicles involved in the wreck
- Injuries that any drivers or passengers suffered
- Narrative of how the accident occurred
- Weather and road conditions at the time of the wreck
- Officer’s conclusions as to who was at fault in causing the collision
- Any tickets issued
Even if the police report clearly shows that the other driver was at fault in causing your crash, his insurance company could still dispute who was to blame and about the severity of your injuries. You need the assistance of an experienced car accident attorney to obtain the compensation you deserve. To learn about your legal options and our extensive experience fighting for the rights of accident victims, start an online chat to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.