What To Know About A Car Accident Police Report

what's included car accident police report

You must file a police report after a car accident, no matter how trivial you think it is. You may not be able to tell the extent of your injuries or the damages to your vehicle immediately after an accident. However, having proper documentation and details of the accident will ensure that all parties involved are protected in case of a claim. One of the first calls that any car accident victim or witness should make is to the police. 

While at the scene of the accident, the police collect witness statements, details of the accident, injuries, fatalities, and other crucial information. Once they have compiled their report, they make it available to the victims, lawyers, or any other parties involved in the accident. 

Your car accident lawyer will need to get a car accident report when handling your claim because it will help prove who the at-fault driver is, the nature of the accident, damages to your property, and injuries sustained. 

Here is what you need to know about filing car accident reports. 

You Should File A Report For All Accidents 

People tend to assume that the police should only be involved in severe or significant accidents. This assumption can cost you your compensation should symptoms of the injuries you sustained present after some time. You might experience some pain later or develop some complications that require medical attention. Without a police report, you will not be able to prove that you were in an accident and get the right compensation. 

To protect your claim and yourself, always file a car accident report with the police regardless of how minor it is. The report is the supporting evidence that your lawyer will use as they negotiate your settlement. Remember, in addition to proving that the accident happened, the police also give an unbiased report of the accident according to the traffic laws. This helps to determine the at-fault driver, which is very vital in personal injury claims. 

The Police Report Does Not Guarantee Compensation 

While filing a police report is vital, it is not the only thing that you need to get compensation. The report does not also automatically mean that you have a claim. It is only a record of the accident. There are instances where the parties involved in the accident choose to settle damages between themselves rather than involving their insurance companies. This can put you at risk. 

The accident report provides your lawyer or your insurance company with the right basis for handling your claim because they will have an accurate crash report rather than act on hearsays. To get your full compensation, you should file a claim and use the report as part of your evidence. 

Police Reports May Not Document All Injuries 

After an accident, the victims, if conscious, may be shaken up and might not know how they are doing. Though the police will try to document all the injuries while at the scene, they might not tell if you have any internal injuries. Some injuries might even surface while being attended to at the hospital. Therefore, it is vital to record all your injuries, take pictures, and have a copy of your medical records and hospital bills. Your medical records will not appear in the police report, and they are very vital in determining your settlement or award. 

Always Give Clear Details To The Police 

When filing a report, give details of the vehicle accident as clearly as possible. Try not to work with assumptions or ignore some details. Do not lie on the report either. Should you remember other details after talking to the police, you can call the police and add the details to the report.

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