Filing a police report after a car crash is very important. It is necessary so that all details of the accident are documented fully and all parties in the accident are protected.
Experts recommend calling the police to the scene of any car accident. Calling the police is required in some states; it is common for state law to require you to call the police if the accident involves injuries and/or damages over $500 or $1000. Even if you are not required to call law enforcement, it is still a good idea to do so. Having a law enforcement official document the accident can work to your advantage if you need to file a claim or lawsuit later.
Even if the accident only involves minor damage and no apparent injury, it is still wise to call the police and file a car accident report. You could discover the next day that there is more property damage and injuries than you first thought.
Note that just because you file a police report does not mean that you are making an insurance claim. The police report is a legal record of the accident. Sometimes after a crash, people may want to handle the finances of the event rather than get insurance companies involved. Nevertheless, you still should file the police report. You never know what the other person might decide to do after the car accident. By having the details of the accident reported to the police, you are legally covered.
Personal Injuries and Police Reports
Almost everyone is upset after a car accident. You will probably be stressed and not thinking as clearly as usual. Police are very experienced in spotting potential issues and clues in a car accident that could help your case if you do file a claim or lawsuit. The police also will deal with the others involved in the accident; this will relieve stress on you at a difficult time. Remember, if you end up having injuries later that you did not know about at first, you could have a harder time making a claim later.
Other Reasons to File a Police Report
Filing the accident report with law enforcement not only gives your auto insurance company critical information to handle your claim. It will also give them an accurate, objective report of the crash. An accurate police report ensures you are protected if there are any later legal problems from the accident. The police can file the report and could submit it for you to the DMV as needed. Remember to never leave the scene of the accident until the police have filed a report. You do not want to be accused of leaving the scene of an accident!
If Police Do Not Come
In some minor accidents, the police may not come to the scene, or they may be unable to show up because they are too busy with more serious calls. Some states do not require the police to come if it is not a serious accident. But you should still always call the police after any accident and let them make the call. If the police do not come to the scene, it is important for you to take photos of everything and document what happened as much as you can. You always can go to the police station yourself and file a report.
Assuming the police do come to the crash scene, be sure to get the contact information of the police officer who wrote the accident report. You may remember other details of the crash later and need to amend the report.