Why Getting a Police Report After an Accident is Important

silver car accident front crash

Drivers often fail to file a police report following an accident. They may choose not to do so for a variety of reasons. For example, they may believe the damages are minor and there is no need to get the authorities involved. Regardless of why a person may not believe this is necessary, it’s always best to call law enforcement after an accident. Why is it important to do so?

Why a Police Report is Needed for Every Accident

Getting and keeping your police report should be a priority. This document provides information gathered by a third party, so it is seen as accurate and impartial. This unbiased view becomes a key element in proving a person’s case if they decide to pursue compensation for their injuries and other damages. In addition, insurance companies want to see this document when determining who is at fault for the accident and what damages will be paid under the policy.

What a Police Report Contains

When law enforcement officers visit the scene of an accident, they gather specific information. For example, this police report contains the precise location of the accident, along with the date and time the incident occurred. The officer notes the damage to vehicles and other property, along with any injuries reported by those involved in the accident. This may include pedestrians and passengers.

The officer will speak to the parties involved in the accident as well as any witnesses. They collect identifying information from each of these parties to ensure they can be contacted again if needed. In addition, the officer gathers environmental information at the time of the accident and other facts that are of importance to the case.

The Importance of This Report

car accident with ambulance firetruck

When a person is involved in an accident, adrenaline surges through the body. The person may not be thinking clearly, especially if they are injured in any way. Calling the police ensures this individual does not forget or overlook details that could be important when they go to seek compensation for their injuries and damages.

In addition, the police report protects the party responsible for the accident. The other driver may choose to exaggerate their claims or make false statements regarding what happened. The police report provides an objective overview of the facts surrounding the accident and may be used to dispute claims by the parties involved.

Filing a Police Report

How should a person file a police report after they have been in an accident? Doing so is easy. Simply call emergency services immediately following the accident. This call will send law enforcement and emergency personnel to the scene of the accident. The officer will take statements from the parties involved and emergency services personnel will treat any injuries and transport victims to the hospital if needed.

Explain to the officer the circumstances that led to the accident and answer any questions they have. They will complete this process with everyone involved in the accident, as well as those who witnessed it. With this information, the officer determines whether anyone should be charged or receive a ticket.

Once the report is complete, usually within 24 hours of the accident, request a copy. In addition, ask that a copy be sent to the insurance company. The other parties involved may request their own reports.

Always obtain a police report following an accident. The other driver may come back at a later time and claim they were not at fault. It is best to treat every accident as if it is a major incident. By taking these steps with any incident, a person knows they have done all they can to protect themselves and preserve a claim if needed.

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