Some car accident victims make the mistake of not contacting the police following a car accident and obtaining a copy of the police report. They may think that the damage to their vehicle is minor and that they suffered few or no injuries. However, they could later discover that the damage to their vehicle is more than they thought or they may begin experiencing symptoms of an injury in the days or weeks after the crash. When they realize that they need to file a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company, they do not have an important piece of evidence they need because it is too late to file a police report. Do not make this mistake and weaken your claim for compensation.
Why a Police Report Matters When Filing a Car Accident Claim
While a police report is not mandatory when filing a claim for compensation for your injuries in an auto collision, it provides the insurance company with important information regarding your claim. In addition, it is an unbiased third-party account by a police officer trained to investigate vehicle wrecks of what occurred, which can be very persuasive to an insurance adjuster handling your claim. Similarly, not having one weakens your claim because it makes the accident seem minor and not one where you could suffer significant injuries.
In addition, a police report contains a wealth of information. Here is some of the helpful information a police report can contain to prove your case:
- Documents the incident. A police report will contact the date, time, and place of the crash. This can help you document that the accident occurred if the negligent driver tries to avoid responsibility by denying the incident even happened.
- Provides contact information. The police report will contain contact information for the other driver and his insurance company that you will need to file a claim and may provide this information about witnesses to the accident.
- Statements. The police officer will take statements from you and the other driver and include this information in the police report. This will give you information regarding how the other driver claims the crash happened and may include incriminating statements where he admits fault. In addition, the officer may include statements of witnesses that could corroborate the other driver’s negligence.
- Description of what occurred. The police officer will include a narrative of how the accident occurred and his conclusions as to who was at fault. The report will also note any damages to the vehicles, injuries that victims suffered, weather conditions, and other contributing factors that lead to the crash.
- Diagram. Often police officers will include a diagram that shows the accident scene and the point of impact during the crash.
- Photographs. In serious accidents, the police report may include pictures or video that the police officer took of the accident scene, damage to the vehicles, and more.
- Citations. The police report will note whether any drivers involved in the incident were issued any citations.
Whether or not you contacted the police after your auto accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries from the negligent driver’s insurance company. The experienced car accident attorneys at Tavss Fletcher are here to answer your questions and help you file your claim. We urge you to call our office or start an online chat today to schedule your free case evaluation.