Can a Police Report Affect Your Accident Claim?
Miley Legal Group
You have just been in an accident, and the party who hit you wants you to NOT call the police.
You are trying to be nice and you know how long it will take for an officer to get there.
The other driver is acting really sweet and is very apologetic.
You don’t really feel hurt, and the damage to your car will get fixed. Right?
So you agree to just exchange information and head on your way.
Was that a mistake? Did you just create a larger headache down the road to avoid any immediate inconvenience?
A Police Report Will Generally Show Who is at Fault
You may have saved a few minutes or even a few hours the day of your accident, but what happens a few days later? Most injuries do not appear the day of the accident. With the adrenaline working through your body you might not feel injured until the next day or even a few days later. What now?
Well, their insurance company will take care of it. Right?
Don’t Rely on At-Fault Driver’s Word Alone After an Accident
You have no idea what their insured has told them. They might have admitted fault, even apologized for it, at the accident scene, but did not want to look at fault when speaking with their own insurance company. Is their story accurate, did they see something different from you? A reporting of events from an unbiased source will help you prove what actually happened.
What about the witnesses? Someone must have seen the accident. Did you get their information? Did you ask for their statement? Do they remember what happened? A police report will document all of that information and more. An experienced officer will know what to look for, who to speak with and what to ask. You don’t.
Insurance companies use police reports (or sometimes called a crash exchange form), to resolve disputes. They use them to compare stories and to determine what happened and who was at fault. If there is no record, what are they to use? An embellished statement from their insured? A hazy memory from a witness? Or even a statement from you, who wants them to compensate you?
A Police Report Can be Key in Most Car Accident Cases
Take it from us, get a police report. Sit and wait in a safe area for an officer, especially if there are injuries or even potential injuries. If you are involved in a fender bender, a report may not be necessary, but remember it will affect how the insurance company views the claim down the road and not every driver is 100% honest when reporting accidents.
If you have questions or concerns about a police report, accident or insurance claim, do not hesitate to contact our office. We have the answers to your questions and can provide you with simple guidance to move your claim forward and help you get on with your life.