What Does It Mean To File A Police Report
When you contact the police after a car accident, a law enforcement officer will come to the scene to investigate the situation and create an accident report.
The police officer’s report will state when the accident happened, where it happened, the names and addresses of every driver and witness involved, and relevant information regarding the speed limits, stop signs, etc., near the scene.
You can also go to the police station within 24 hours of an accident to give a statement, which will then be the basis of a less comprehensive police report.
Situation No : Not Dealing With It
You could decide to use your own insurance for car damage, rather than dealing with the other personâs insurance company. If you have collision insurance, you can use it for car damage caused by someone else.
The downside is that your insurance check will be reduced by your collision deductible amount. You might get that deductible amount back later if your insurance company goes after reimbursement from the other personâs insurer.
If you have rental reimbursement coverage, you could tap that as well for a rental while your vehicle is in the repair shop for a collision claim.
What If I Was In A Minor Vehicle Accident In Georgia
If the damages are negligible and there are no injuries, should you file an accident report? The answer is yes. This bottom line is that it is always a good idea to report a car accident, and not doing so can have life-changing consequences.
Even if there was no legal requirement to report your accident, not documenting a collision is a risk to your rights. When an accident gets reported to the police, they come to the scene, create a car accident report, and take down the information of everyone involved. If that doesnt happen and you try to claim damages later, its your word against everyone else. Therefore, you may face blame for what happened even if the collision was not your fault.
Another reason to always file an accident report is to secure coverage for all damages. In many cases, damages and injuries may not be immediately apparent, such as engine failures or delayed symptoms of medical injuries. For example, a traumatic brain injury can take hours or days to appear.
Notifying Your Insurance Company Of An Accident
If there are no mitigating circumstances, the most typical course of action for most in a vehicle collision is to not submit police report. While making a police complaint helps determining who is at blame easier, it is not required to ascertain who is accountable for the damages.
At its foundation, a police report is just another piece of evidence that insurance companies may use to prove liability. Because the police officer was most likely not there at the collision, their report may be taken seriously because it will include any physical evidence at the site.
Even if there is no police record, insurance claim adjusters will evaluate the facts to determine where the carelessness happened. As a consequence, if you were at fault in a vehicle accident, don’t expect a missing police report to rescue your case.
If you’ve been in a parking lot accident with no police report and no possible witnesses, an insurance company’s obligation is normally to assess skid tracks and car locations to reconstruct the scene of the accident.
When everything is said and done, an insurance claim that does not include police report proof will be treated the same as one that does. The main difference is that the insurance companies will have to agree without the added assistance of an officer’s assessment on what caused the accident.
Minor crashes are commonly avoided by those who wish to avoid reporting them to their insurance providers for two reasons:
Will The Insurance Company Approve My Claim If I Have A Police Report
There is never a guarantee of the outcome of an insurance claim. Companies each have their process for evaluating incidents and determining the validity of claims.
The lack of a police report will put you at a disadvantage. However, that alone does not mean that the insurance company should deny your claim. Your lawyer can assist you if your valid claim is denied.
Car accidents, injuries, and the involvement of police and insurance can be burdensome. Taking the initiative to protect yourself with insurance, getting a police report after an accident, and having legal representation will make the process smoother.
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How Failing To Call The Police Can Impact Your Injury Claim
If you do not know the identity of the other driver and are therefore having to make a claim on your own uninsured motorist insurance coverage, you must strictly comply with O.C.G.A. § 40-6-273 and report the crash to the police by the quickest means of communication. According to O.C.G.A. § 33-7-11, if you fail to report the crash to the police as quickly as possible, your insurance company can deny your claim for uninsured motorist coverage.
Even a relatively brief delay of 4 to 5 days has been held to be insufficient to comply with the requirements of O.C.G.A. § 40-6-273. It does not matter if you have a good excuse for the delay or if the delay does not seem entirely unreasonable under the circumstances, Georgia courts have strictly construed these statutes to require a report to the police by the quickest means of communication as a condition precedent to the insurance companys duty to provide uninsured motorist coverage.
In other words, if you do not first comply with your duty to make a report to the police as soon as possible, the insurance company has no legal duty to provide coverage on your uninsured motorist claim no matter how many years you have faithfully paid premiums on your policy. Thus, it is critical if you are the victim of a hit and run type crash to immediately report it to the police or have someone report it for you if you are injured and unable to do so yourself.
How A Missing Police Report Might Negatively Impact Your Claim
Even though insurers may not deny a claim simply because you never filed a police report, they could use this against you. Lacking this key piece of evidence could affect your claim because your accident could become a he-said, she-said argument with no objective third-party to assign fault.
Keep in mind that passengers in your vehicle are not considered impartial witnesses to the insurance company since he or she may have a stake in who gets assigned fault.
Why Does A Police Report Matter
A police report is important because it validates to an insurance company that your car accident actually happened. Without a police report accompanying your claim, the insurer will be much more likely to deny it. You can still prove that it happened with other forms of evidence, but you will be setting yourself up for an uphill battle that couldve been made much easier had you just reported the accident to the police in the first place.
Were you in a car accident in Kentucky and need help figuring out what to do about the police report? Why not let the highly experienced and reputable team of attorneys from Kentucky Injury Law Center lend a hand? Call 423-0023 or contact us online right away.
Do Insurance Providers Require Accident Reports When Processing Claims
Yes, most insurance companies require a police report when assessing property damage and personal injury claims.
Even if your insurance company does not require a formal accident report, the documents can be helpful. They establish that another party caused the collision and help you negotiate a proper settlement. In addition, many car accident attorneys use police reports to ensure an insurance adjuster covers all of the victims losses.
For a free legal consultation, call
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Are There Consequences For Not Calling The Police After An Auto Accident
Georgia law requires that most car wrecks be reported to the police as found in O.C.G.A. § 40-6-273. This statute requires a person involved in a motor vehicle crash resulting in injury or death to any other person or damage to a vehicle to an apparent extent of $500 or more to report the crash to the local police by the quickest means of communication.
Failure to do so is punishable as a misdemeanor offense. Thus, in virtually all motor vehicle crashes, making a report to the police is mandatory.
How Do I File A Car Insurance Claim Without A Police Report
A police report gives an official and detailed description of what occurred in the accident. Police reports are required when injuries, major damage, or extenuating circumstances are involved. However, you can act as your own detail-oriented advocate for minor incidents.
In such cases, be sure to write down specifics of the accident and take photos to document the story. Examples of facts to record include:
- Date and time of the accident
- Location of the accident
- Involved individuals and their contact information and driver’s license number
- Insurance information of any other parties involved, including their insurance policy number
- Details of the types of vehicles involved, including license plate numbers and state of registration
- Details of damage
- Environmental factors, such as the weather, time of day, and lighting
- Names and contact information of any witnesses
The process for filing an auto insurance claim with your insurance company is similar whether you have a police report or not. If you have a report, simply give your car insurance provider the name of the police department and report number. If you don’t have a police report to reference, that’s where your detailed account of the event comes in handy and will become part of your claim.
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You Can File A Claim Without A Police Reportbut It Will Be Far More Difficult
As noted above, Nevada law requires that most car accidents must be reported to the police. Failure to report an accident could result in a driver facing legal penalties, potentially even including the suspension of their drivers license. You can avoid problems like this by reporting your accident as soon as possible. That being said, there is no law in Nevada that prevents you from filing an insurance claim if there is no police report. You are not legally prohibited from bringing a claim.
Still, it will be far more challenging to get the full and fair financial compensation that you deserve if you never reported the accident to law enforcement. It is not something that you want to deal with after a car wreck. A police report is a key piece of evidence. If there is no police report, you can be sure that the insurance company is going to heavily scrutinize the claim. Protect your rights by reporting your accident to the police.
Injuries Are Often More Serious Than Estimated
Its common for a person involved in a car accident to believe that they are only suffering a minor injury, or simply just bumps and bruises. Some may also believe they just have a headache or stomach ache from the stress related to the event. These conclusions are often one of the main reasons that they do not believe they need to file a police report. Many just want to submit the vehicle damage report with the DMV and move on with their lives.
Sadly, many of these injuries are much more severe than the injured party realizes at the time of the accident. A headache can be a sign of a head injury, whiplash, neck or spine trauma, or a concussion. The upset stomach may not be nerves at all but instead could be internal bleeding from being jolted against the interior of the car. The bumps and bruises may be fractures or sprains that need treatment.
When you have the police investigate the accident at the time of the event, you can also seek immediate medical care. It is never silly or a waste of time to get a medical evaluation after an accident. In fact, it can save your life.
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What If You Dont Have A Police Report
If you dont have a police report, its going to raise some questions. The insurance company is going to wonder why you didnt call the cops. Were you hiding something? Were you afraid of what they may find?
If you dont call the police, the insurance company may assume you were at fault. There is really no good excuse for not calling the police. The insurance adjuster will think the worst possible scenario.
You dont want to make things any harder on your attorney than they already are. If your claim is denied, hell have to appeal it. Hell have to show proof that the other driver was at fault. This will be very difficult, if not impossible, to do.
The insurance company already has an incentive to not pay your claim. If you dont provide them with a police report, youre making it really easy for them to deny your claim.
What If Theres No Police Report For My Accident
Anytime that you are involved in a car accident, or any other serious accident type that necessitates emergency medical care, you should make sure that an accident report is filed with the police .
If you do not report your accident to the police, and therefore there is no report or record of your accident, your injury claim can become more complicated. Consider the following about what you need to know when there is no police report for your accident
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What If I Want To Make A Claim But Dont Have A Police Report
You can still file a claim even if you dont have a police report. Itll just take a little more work and it may take longer to process.
Any of the following information will be helpful when filing a claim without a police report:
- Statements of the parties involved
- Eyewitness statements
- The weather and road conditions at the location of the accident
How Can I Get A Copy Of The Police Report From My Car Accident
If you are ever involved in a car accident, you should call the police immediately. Even if you think that the accident is minor, having a police officer on the scene filing a report could greatly help you claim compensation later on.
If you have already been involved in a car accident and police showed up at the scene, you can get a copy of the report. If you are yet to receive one or you have misplaced your copy, you should contact a lawyer at our law firm. They will be able to get a new copy for you from the local precinct.
If you are unsure whether a police report was ever filed, you should call us today for a free case evaluation. A member of our legal team will be able to assist you in searching for and obtaining you a police report copy if one exists.
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What Happens If There Is No Police Report Can I Still File A Car Accident Injury Claim
In certain circumstances, you might not have a police report for your car crash. For example, if the accident happened on private property or did not meet the requirement stated above, the responding offer may not file a report. Additionally, in severe weather emergencies, the police may be unable to respond to minor accidents.
However, while a police report may be useful in an insurance claim and/or personal injury lawsuit, it is not an absolute requirement for success.
Many other types of evidence may play a decisive role in your car accident injury claim. Examples of these kinds of evidence include:
- The damaged vehicles
- Statements from the drivers involved and eyewitnesses
- Skid marks and other physical evidence from the accident scene
- Information from the vehicles data recorder, if applicable
- Cell phone records that indicate a driver was texting or talking at the time
- Video from a nearby security camera that recorded the crash
- A professional reconstruction of the accident
- Testimony by experts in vehicle design or manufacture
Does Insurance Cover An Accident Without A Police Report
If you have been injured in a car accident, you will still be able to receive compensation from your insurance company without a police report. All insurance companies have different policies, so you may want to read your policies to find out exactly what you are covered for.
If you want to file an accident claim, we strongly recommend that you contact a member of our legal team today for a free consultation. In this consultation, a lawyer will be able to help you understand your insurance company policies and how you can go about filing a claim for your injuries and property damage.
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Peace Law Firm: Offering Highly Competent Caring Representation
After graduating from the University of South Carolina Law School, John Robert Peace founded the Peace Law Firm in Greenville, South Carolina, in 2002. Peace is licensed to practice law in South Carolina and North Carolina.
The Peace Law Firm believes in stepping up for the injured and mistreated. When you hire the Peace Law Firm, you will receive personal attention and superb legal representation. Contact the Peace Law Firm today to schedule a free, confidential consultation regarding your car accident claim.