A car accident can be a traumatic experience. To help make the situation less stressful, there are certain steps you can take following a car accident, such as getting contact information or calling the police. Some people believe that there is no need to call the police following an accident, particularly if the damage is minor or there are no injuries. However, that could be a costly mistake, as obtaining a police report after a car accident is important for several reasons.
The police report provides a third-party overview of the car accident, including essential facts and details that are imperative to an insurance claim or a liability claim. An insurance company can use the police report when estimating the damages. Additionally, medical professionals may even use the police report when determining a diagnosis.
A police report of an accident might provide the following information:
- Driver information, including names, addresses, contact and insurance information.
- Witness information, including contact information and detailed accounts.
- Description of what had occurred.
- Documentation of each driver’s accounts of the accident.
- Damage location to any vehicles or property. May include photographs taken by the officer.
- Makes and models of the vehicles involved.
- Injury information if a driver needed medical assistance.
- Time, date, and location of the accident.
- Notes of any citations.
- Road and weather conditions.
There are many positives of obtaining a police report for an accident, especially if you need to file an insurance claim or if you are injured. Many people forgo getting a police report because they believe they are not injured or the damage was not enough damage to warrant a call to the police. However, many injuries do not appear until much later.
Here are a few other reasons why it is important to file a police report:
- Required: Some states require those involved in a car accident to report it to the police and Department of Transportation if there is an injury or more than $500 of property damage.
- Causation: A police report can help support causation in an insurance claim, which is the relationship between the accident and injury. Without a police report, the insurance company may question your injury and deny the claim.
- Liability: In most car accident claims, you need to prove who is liable for the accident; yourself or the other driver. A police report can help.
How Do You File a Police Report?
A police report is an official document that is seen as more substantial than the drivers’ opinions of what happened. If their accounts differ, the police report may be helpful in determining fault.
To file a police report:
- Notify the police after any car accident, even if the damage or injuries seem minor.
- Discuss your account of the accident with the officer, complete with details of what led to the crash. The officer may ask questions to you and the other driver, as well as any witnesses. It is helpful to be as honest as possible, but do not admit fault.
- Obtain a record of the police report for yourself, as well as a copy for your insurance provider.
Media Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Help Those Injured by Negligent, Careless Drivers
If you have been injured in a car accident, you will need the best legal team on your side. One of our Media car accident lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. is here to help you. Call us at 610-565-3701 or fill out our online form for an initial consultation. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we proudly serve clients in Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.