Does Filing Police Report Affect Insurance
Filing a police report may affect insurance in that it documents the time and place that the accident occurred. If the police prepare the report, theres a neutral third party that offers an opinion about who is to blame for the accident. The police officer is trained in accident investigations, and the insurance company will probably see their opinion as highly credible. Without the police report, you have to present all of the evidence that justifies your demand for compensation. However, you still have the right to full compensation from your insurance company.
Do I Have To File A Police Report After A Car Accident
The law in South Carolina requires that you report car accidents under certain circumstances. If either of the following exists in conjunction with a car accident, you must file a police report:
- A person dies as a result of the accident or
- A person suffers serious bodily injury as a result of the accident.
Since drivers cannot determine by sight all damages or injuries, you should always file a police report after a car accident. Also, it is a crime to flee the scene of a car accident. Therefore, if the other driver flees, you should file a police report.
Filing A Complete Police Report May Support Your Case
You are allowed to file a car accident claim without a police report, but one might be required under certain circumstances. When a police report is required, it must contain specific information which includes:
- The date and time the accident occurred
- Details of all involved vehicles
- Name and contact info of all involved drivers, passengers, and any witnesses
- Name and badge number of police at the scene
- Insurance information for both drivers
When you are the victim of a car accident, you should consider completing a police report even if the accident does not legally require one.
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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.
Hire An Experienced Attorney
Legal statutes vary between states when determining the conditions that constitute fault. The majority of states have instituted at-fault laws, with twelve states maintaining no-fault laws on the books.
With the factors differentiating whos at fault for a car accident isnt universally codified between the states, seeking counsel may be the best course of action.
A car accident attorney will prove to be the best resource available if you need to file a claim or lawsuit if you believe that you will not be at fault. Without an experienced attorney on your side, you could find yourself paying for the damages and consequences of someone elses negligence.
A lawyer will help build your case by:
- Speaking with witnesses to gather statements
- Obtain the aid of expert testimony or accident reconstruction specialists
- Gather medical evidence from your physician
- Use a police report, if available, as evidence
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Is A Police Report Necessary To File An Insurance Claim
In most cases, you are not required to have a police report in order to file an insurance claim. However, we highly recommend to have one because it can help you:
- Prove the other drivers fault
- Back up evidence of your cars damages
- Speed up the claims process
You will need a report as evidence if you need to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
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.
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Do You Need To Report The Accident To Law Enforcement
The answer to this question depends in large part on not only the facts and circumstances of the particular accident, but also on the state in which you live.
Many states require you to report any accident that involves an injury. Even for accidents involving only vehicle damage, some states still require drivers to report the accident if the damage is over a certain amount, typically $1,000 or $2,500.
At the accident scene one of the most important things to do is to exchange contact information with the other driver and to also obtain the other driver’s insurance information. Every state requires drivers to exchange this kind of information if they have been involved in an accident.
If the other driver is uncooperative, or if you have reason to believe the other driver does not have insurance, you should request the involvement of law enforcement at the accident scene to help you obtain this information. Depending on the location of the accident, the law enforcement agency might be municipal police, county sheriff, or the highway patrol.
Navigating The Compensation Process
The process of receiving compensation for your injuries and financial losses can quickly become complicated. It is designed this way by the insurers to discourage people from seeking claims. Sadly, when a person is seeking compensation from the insurer without any legal representation, the process becomes even more difficult for the injured party.
Having quality legal representation by an experienced car accident attorney is always your best option in this type of situation. Your attorney can help relieve the burden of the insurance process so you can focus your attention on your recovery. Your attorney will also help you:
- Obtain the police reports associated with the accident and review the information.
- Contact and interview witnesses to the crash.
- Have an expert accident reconstructionist examine the facts of the accident if there are any questions concerning who was at-fault.
- File any necessary paperwork with the DMV.
- File a claim for compensation with the right insurance company.
- Establish that the insurer is providing you with all the benefits that youre entitled to under the terms of their policy and Nevada law.
- Negotiate the terms of your compensation to ensure that the insurer is being fair with their compensation package.
- File a lawsuit on behalf of the client if negotiations are not favorable to the client.
- Represent the client in Court.
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Document The Accident At The Scene
Take photos of the note left by the other driver, if there was one. Photograph any damage to your car and the overall scene, including a view of the roadway, the position of your vehicle, and any wreckage or skid marks.
If possible, get information from witnesses, including names, contact details, and a brief statement. Note the date, time, location, weather conditions, and any other relevant details, too.
Do You Need A Police Report
Again, in most cases, its a good idea to file a police report. But there are some instances in which the police will not file a report. If an accident occurs on private property, they will not file a report. It is up to you to speak with the owner of the property to obtain the necessary information to file a claim. If the accident occurs on a road, there will likely be a police report. This includes highways, city roads, backstreets, and country roads.
Heres the thing: you may not actually need a police report in either case. Typically, there are only a few instances when an insurance company will require a police report. These cases include:
- Accidents resulting in extensive or serious damage to vehicles or property
- Accidents resulting in serious bodily injury
- Accidents during which a crime was committed
- Cases where the other driver fled the scene
Other than these special circumstances, you will typically not need a police report to file an insurance claim. Its best to check with your agent about your specific situation, though.
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What Happens To A Car Accident With No Police Report
A car accident with no police report may still be grounds for insurance compensation or a lawsuit. You may still bring a claim for compensation under the same laws that apply in cases with a police report. You may also look to your insurance or the other partys insurance for compensation. Without a police report, its unlikely that either party will get a traffic ticket or face criminal charges because of the accident. However, you can make your case directly to the insurance company to seek compensation if your insurance policy covers it.
How Important Is A Police Report In A Car Accident
If you have been involved in a car accident, a police report can greatly improve your chances of receiving the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to. Having a police report will also likely speed up the process of claiming. However, it is not necessarily important to have a police report if you want to file a compensation claim for your vehicle crash.
If you dont have a police report, you can and should still approach insurance companies. We recommend that you speak to Sarasota car accident lawyer at our law firm before you approach any companies. Seeking compensation is a complicated process, and you need to be sure that you dont put a foot wrong.
Insurance companies are big businesses, and they will be doing all that they can to ensure that they dont have to payout. They will be waiting for you to make an error so that they can justify not handing you the compensation you deserve. An attorney at our law firm will be able to advise you of how exactly to go about making your injury claim and what to say. At no point should you admit fault for your crash.
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What If The Police Didnt Show Up To Your Accident
The average police officer has a busy schedule each day, to say the least. There is a chance that there will be no available officers to respond to your car accident call, especially if no one has been severely injured. What are you supposed to do if the police didnt show up at your accident? Go to the police station and report it yourself.
It might not be convenient, but you can report your accident in person at the nearest police station, and you should. A report filed there that originates from you might not be as immediately convincing as a report from an officer, but it is better than nothing. Depending on where you live, your local police or sheriffs department might even let you report the accident online.
Youll Need More Documentation
When you dont have an accident police report you need to have additional information to prove what happened in the accident. You need to be able to provide tangible evidence, including:
- Medical records
- Car repair quotes
- Pictures from the scene
Anyway, you need to include this information in your claim, but it is extremely important that you do it if you dont have a police report.
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What Does Filing A Police Report After A Car Accident Entail
To file a police report after a South Carolina car accident, you would call 911. You would then explain what happened and give your location so that the dispatcher can send police officers. Once the authorities arrive at the scene, they will investigate it and record all damages. They will take statements from the drivers and passengers involved. If there are witnesses, the police may interview them and get their contact information for future use.
The authorities will note provided details during these processes to create a comprehensive report. Some of the aspects you can find in this document are:
- The exact location of the accident
- Date and time of the crash
- Details of damages
- Names, contact information, and addresses of drivers
After gathering these details, police officers can use other procedures for more insights about the crash. For example, they may perform breathalyzer tests to check if you or the other drivers drove under the influence of alcohol or drugs. They can also note all the road signs in the area to determine if any parties ignored traffic regulations.
Is A Police Report Legally Required
In California, drivers who are involved in an accident resulting in injury or death are legally required to file a police report within 24 hours of the accident.
Accidents that involve injuries, death or property damage of more than $1,000 must also be reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days.
Police reports generally are also reported to the DMV, so if you have filed a police report, you may not have to file a second report with the DMV. However, double-check that the officer handling your accident case did his or her due diligence and reported the crash accordingly.
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Can I File A Car Insurance Claim Without A Police Report
Created by FindLaw’s team of legal writers and editors| Last updated November 07, 2016
You had a car accident. Nobody seemed hurt and the damage didn’t appear to be too bad, so after exchanging information you and the other driver went on your separate ways. Later that evening your back started to hurt and by the next morning you couldn’t even make it out of bed … or an important-looking piece of your car fell off when you pulled into your driveway. Alternatively, police may refuse to respond to a minor accident where neither party appears to be injured.
When the full extent of your damages come to light you may ask yourself, ‘Can I file a car insurance claim without a police report?’ The short answer is that yes, you can still file an insurance claim. However, the lack of a police report means that some additional work may be necessary to establish your claim and you may face a slower process and a reduced insurance payout.
The following article presents information to help you address the problems created when there is no police report issued after an accident.
What To Do If There Is An Accident
Q. What should I do at the scene of an accident?
A. STOP Immediately and move only if it is safe to do so.
- Obtain names, addresses, telephone numbers, and drivers license numbers from all drivers.
- Obtain license plate and vehicle identification numbers. Ask to see drivers license and vehicle registration to verify the information is accurate.
- Obtain names, addresses, and telephone numbers of other passengers and any witnesses.
- If you have a camera or a cellphone, take photographs of the damage, and the accident scene .
- If the owner of a damaged car or damaged property cannot be located, leave a note with the names and addresses of the driver and owners of the involved cars.
- Notify your agent and/or your insurance company immediately.
- If anyone is injured or the vehicle damage exceeds $750.00, you must report the accident to the Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days. Failure to notify the DMV may result in the suspension of your drivers license.
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Can You File An Insurance Claim Without A Police Report
When you are in a car accident, its hard to think clearly. Your immediate concerns may be to determine whether you sustained any injuries, assess damage to your car, and exchange information with the other driver. And if you dont feel immediate pain, you may simply get the other drivers insurance information and be on your way. But what if you wake up the next day with severe back pain from the accident? Since you never involved the police, can you file an insurance claim without a police report?