Why Should You Definitely Call The Police
If you would like to file a claim against the driver in the future, then youll need the police to file a police report, this can be done after calling them to the scene or you can also go to the local police station.
Your insurance company will ask for a copy of the police report when you try to claim so make sure you get a copy for yourself. You should also note down the name, badge number, and agency of the officers who arrive at the scene to chase up on the police report in the future.
Some injuries dont become evident for a few days or even weeks despite not feeling injured or hurt at the scene of the accident.
If you dont immediately contact law enforcement and to report and file the car accident at the scene and then come to discover that you are injured some time after the accident then the other driver can claim that the accident never occurred as there is no written evidence on file, it will just be your word against someone elses.
The police will help settle any disputes that have arisen between you and other drivers involved in the collision.
You may think you were completely in the right but others involved may see it a different way and can escalate in a bad way very quickly, especially when it comes to getting insurance companies involved.
Youll want to say your side of the story to the officers in a diplomatic way in order for the blame not to be shifted to you.
How Police Reports Are Used In A Car Accident Injury Case
A police report is often used as powerful leverage in settlement negotiations . Police reports tend to include detailed statements and information about the accident, such as the type of weather and road conditions the accident occurred in, the date and time the accident took place, and, critically, the names of any witnesses who might have watched the accident unfold.
During litigation, a lawyer can use a police report to refresh the police officers recollection of his/her investigation of the accident scene. The investigating police officer and witnesses listed on the report may be called upon to testify at a trial or deposition, which is sworn oral testimony taken outside of court. Such testimony can be absolutely invaluable, sometimes even making the difference between success and failure.
Theres also another important reason to call the police after you get into an accident: depending on how serious the crash was, your failure to notify law enforcement could result in criminal charges.
How Long After A Car Accident Can You Claim On Insurance
You usually have up to three years to make a car insurance claim, although this depends on the insurer. It can be a lot shorter so always check your policy details, or ask your insurer if you are not sure.
The sooner you make a claim, the sooner it should be paid – if there is a sum of money to be paid out. If the claim is complicated it can often take a while to sort out and therefore theres no point in delaying making a claim.
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Need Help After A Car Accident Contact Us For A Free Consultation
It is in your best interest to report a car accident to the police as soon as possible. Ideally you will be able to call 911 from the scene of the crash and speak to the officer when he or she arrives. However, if you have been seriously injured, it may not be possible to report the accident to the police immediately.
OConnor & Partners, PLLC can help you protect your rights and take the necessary steps after a car accident. Our lawyers have more than 150 years of combined experience representing injured people.
Please call today for a free case review. Our car accident lawyers serve clients in Kingston, Poughkeepsie, Newburgh, and other areas of New York.
Reasons To File Your Own Police Report
Should the police decline to come to your minor auto accident, an official police document will be an asset for the following reasons:
- Delay in damages. Not all damage to the cars or the people involved is apparent at the scene of an auto accident.
- Future liability. Even if you and the other driver appear to agree about what caused the accident, you can’t be sure that they will hold this same opinion later on. A police report is a powerful document should there be litigation.
- Facilitating a settlement. A police report may expedite the insurance claim process.
Be sure to notify your insurance agent immediately when you are involved at the scene of an auto accident. Safety Insurance offers a you should exchange with the other driver.
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Should You File A Report For Small Accidents
Even if there is only minor damage, it is still smart to file an accident report to record the details. The damage isn’t always clear at the time of the crash, and you might notice added injury or loss at a later time.
You don’t know what the other person in the car accident will decide to do or say after you have left the scene. Filing a report means the police can help make sure the details are correct.
Do I Have To Report A Car Accident In California
Yes. If you’re involved in a car wreck, you have specific duties to report the crash under California law. In addition, our San Diego car accident attorney mentions that notifying law enforcement about the collision is important if the other driver caused it, and you must file a claim with their insurance company.
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Call 911 & Get A Police Report
State laws require that you call the police if anyone is injured or if property damage exceeds a certain threshold. You may also need a police report when you file your insurance claim. If you need to, be politely persistent with the other driver and the police officer that you would like a written statement. Write down the following information:
- The officers name
- The officers badge number
- The officers phone number
- The police report number
Can I Report A Car Accident Online
Some police forces allow you to report car accidents online. For example, the Metropolitan Police have a report a road traffic incident tool.
You can check your local forces website to see if they offer this.
But if its an emergency for example, if someone is injured or a car is blocking the road you should always call 999.
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Police Reports Can Play An Important Role In Your Accident Claim
You should also report an accident of any size or significance to your insurance company as soon as you can. The report will not affect your premium unless you file a claim. Still, if you file a claim, or the other driver files a claim against you, having a police report as well as notification to your insurer on file will help to protect you.
A police report represents an independent assessment of the accident and provides crucial information about all of the parties who were involved in the incident. An insurance company and your lawyer will want to review the police report as they assess your claim.
Here are two other reasons why it will benefit you to have a police report of your accident:
If someone else caused your car accident, you may be entitled to recover compensation for all costs related to your injuries, vehicle damage expenses and more. If you were injured, no health care expenses should come out of your pocket if someone else was at fault.
The Insurance Company May Request A Police Report
Even if you are not legally required to report the crash to police, your insurance company may still request an accident report when you file a claim. This official record is especially useful in cases where there was significant damage, and it may also help to speed up the claims process. If there is no report, you may find yourself in a he said versus she said tug of war. To protect yourself and your legal interests, it is always a good idea to contact the police.
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Do I Need To Report A Minor Crash Or Collision Without Injuries
As the statutes referenced in the previous section make plain, it is absolutely mandatory for New Jersey and Pennsylvania drivers to notify the police after an accident which is serious enough to cause property damage, personal injury, or death. But what if its a minor, low-speed accident where no one is hurt and no property is broken or destroyed?
In these cases, you should look to your auto insurance contract for the answer. While it might be tempting to simply drive away, the vast majority of insurance agreements do contain provisions requiring policyholders to report all accidents no matter how minor.
As for notifying the police, the answer lies in the wording of state law. 75 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3744 specifies accident resulting in injury to or death of any person or damage to any vehicle or other property, and says nothing about accidents which cause none of the above. Likewise, N.J.S.A. § 39:4-130 specifies only accident resulting in injury to or death of any person, or damage to property of any one person in excess of $500.00. While its not mandatory to report accidents to the police if they dont fit this description, its still a good idea, because, as we discussed earlier, the resulting police report can come in handy in the future.
Disputing Minor Car Accident Claims In San Diego
If you or someone you know has been injured in a minor car accident, its time to get legal counsel. The sooner you retain an experienced car accident lawyer, the more likely you are to win the compensation you deserve for your injuries, medical bills, and pain and suffering.
To schedule a free consultation, call the team at The Barnes Firm today or contact them online for a FREE case evaluation.
The Barnes Firm 800-0000
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How To File Your Car Accident Claim In Honolulu
The process starts by calling your insurance company. If your injuries were minor, you can recover compensation through your own policy. Serious injuries and property damage will need to go through the at-fault drivers insurance company.
Your ability to collect compensation will be greatly affected if you share any responsibility for the wreck. Hawaiis modified comparative fault law allows you to receive compensation as long as you are not 51 percent or more responsible for the accident. However, the ultimate amount you receive will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
Having an experienced attorney by your side when fault is in question is essential. If you are blamed unfairly for the crash, you could lose all rights to compensation.
Most car accident cases result in settlements. But if an insurance company refuses to give you a fair settlement, you may have the option of taking the case to trial. There are pros and cons of going to trial, so its important to discuss these carefully with your lawyer first.
Dont Neglect To Call The Police Of Massachusetts
You and the other driver might agree to keep the police out of it and allow your insurance companies to handle the claims. But thats a bad idea for a couple of reasons. First, without police involvement, you wont have a formal report of the accident, which can be useful for your insurance company or in any subsequent lawsuit. Second, you have no idea whether the other driver is honest. What happens if the other driver provides false information? Or if their insurance isnt up-to-date? You could end up in a vastly more complicated situation than youve bargained for and have to carry more costs.
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What To Do In The Days After The Crash
The actions you take in the days, weeks and months after a crash can also play a role in the outcome of your car accident claim. Use the following tips as a guide.
- See a doctor: Some injuries arent apparent right away. Even if you dont feel injured, see a physician as soon as possible after a wreck. If youre visiting Honolulu, you can still visit an urgent care, walk-in clinic or emergency room for a checkup. This shows the insurance company that you took your car accident seriously and took immediate action in case of injury.
- Report the accident to your insurance company:Read your insurance policy. Most have a deadline for when crashes must be reported. Keep in mind that you only need to report that the accident occurred. Do not provide a recorded statement or answer questions about injuries until you have spoken with an attorney.
- Contact a trusted car accident lawyer:Youd be surprised how quickly insurance companies try to get you on the phone to settle your claim. Thats not because youre getting great customer service. Its because they know that claimants without attorneys are less likely to know the value of their claims. Typically, youre entitled to more compensation than youre offered the first time around.
More questions? Give us a call to schedule your consultation today.
Dont Refuse Medical Evaluation And Attention At The Scene
Refusing medical attention at the scene might bring more suffering later. You may think youre fine, but some injuries are not immediately apparent or you might fail to recognize certain symptoms as dangerous. In addition, turning down a medical once-over or basic medical evaluation could affect your future legal claim. The other drivers attorney and insurance company might argue that in refusing medical treatment at the scene, you werent seriously injured or that any injuries identified later were unconnected with the car accident.
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Obtaining An Accident Report With Your Florida Accident Attorney
If you can, obtain the responding officers name and badge number at the accident scene. This will make it easier for you to locate the accident report once the officer files it. Youll also want to know which jurisdictions or municipalitys police team responded to the call. Thats the agency youll need to reach out to in order to obtain the accident report. Most officers will provide you a card with the case number, or a drivers exchange of information with the basics so you can notify the insurance company and request the full report when it is available.
The great news is, your Florida accident attorney can obtain your accident report for you. Having the details about which police department was on the scene will still be helpful.
Evans V Vf Freight Ltd: Negligent Tractor
If an officer does attend the scene, the official report of the accident can prove to be invaluable evidence if you need to file a personal injury claim against the other driver. B.C. courts often look to the official police report as an impartial source of evidence in an accident case, especially when the plaintiff and the defendant effectively blame one another for what happened.
Consider this recent decision by the B.C. Civil Resolution Tribunal , Evans v. VF Freight Ltd. This small claims case involves a November 2017 motor vehicle accident. As is common in these types of cases, the applicant represented himself before the Tribunal. An ICBC representative appeared on behalf of the corporate respondent.
According to the applicant, a tractor-trailer driven by an employee of the respondent pulled out in front of from the north exit of a Canadian Tire parking lot. The tractor-trailer effectively blocked both lanes of traffic, which forced the respondent to drive onto the median, which caused property damage to his vehicle.
The driver claimed that it was the applicant whose negligence caused the damage to his own car. Rather than follow the course prescribed above, the driver said the applicant accelerated extremely hard toward toward the drivers position. The applicant then honked his horn before cutting in front of the tractor-trailer, which forced the driver to make a stop.
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Will Reporting An Accident Increase My Car Insurance Cost
Different factors affect the cost of car insurance including your age, car, and driving experience
If you were deemed to be at fault in the accident, you might see your car insurance costs rise. This is because insurers could see you as a risky driver.
But sometimes even if an accident isnt your fault, you might see your premiums rise.
You shouldnt let a potential rise in premiums stop you from reporting an accident, though.
If you dont tell your insurer about one but they find out later, it could invalidate your insurance and you might even find it difficult to get another policy.
Remember, even if you dont make a claim, an accident needs to be disclosed when you buy insurance in the future.
Police Reports And Personal Injuries
No one is at their best after a car accident. You will likely be shaken up and not able to clearly judge how you are doing. Police can spot potential issues and help. They will also deal with the other party for you, which will provide some objectivity and relieve a lot of stress. The police will question all involved parties and fill in the details of the report.
Sometimes injuries don’t show up until a day or two after the accident. If you didn’t file a police report and there is no record of the crash, it may make it harder for you in the long run. For instance, it could be harder to get coverage for your medical expenses.
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