If you were involved in a car accident caused by another driver, you may wonder if you should file a police report—especially if you do not believe you were seriously injured. However, many injuries, such as back, neck, and brain injuries may develop days or weeks after the accident. You may end up needing expensive medical treatments and be off work for months while you recover—without being paid. If you need to file a claim for compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, a police report could be extremely valuable in helping you obtain a favorable settlement.
Six Ways a Police Report Can Help Your Car Accident Claim
While police reports are generally not admissible in court, they can still be very beneficial earlier in your case. Reasons you want to file a police report include:
Contact and insurance information.
The police report will provide you with the contact information of the other driver and his insurance company. It will also contain the insurance policy number, the other driver’s license plate number, and his driver’s license number.
The other driver’s statement.
After obtaining the basic information regarding the drivers, the police officer will take each driver’s statement as to what happened. If the other driver tries to change his story later, his statement to the police could be used to show that his new version of what occurred is not credible.
The police report could contain contact information for witnesses to the accident and their statements, which will be helpful if you need them to testify at your trial to confirm how the accident occurred or to help convince the other driver’s insurance company to settle your claim.
Important facts regarding the accident.
The police report could contain important information regarding your crash, such as weather conditions, damage to the vehicles, injuries to the drivers or passengers, and any other observations the police officer made regarding the cause of the accident.
If you need to make a claim for compensation with your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company, the adjuster will want a copy of the police report to substantiate your claim before making a settlement offer.
Uninsured driver or hit and run accident.
If the other driver did not have insurance or you were the victim of a hit and run accident, you may need a police report to make a claim with your insurance company under your own uninsured motorist coverage.
Having an Attorney on Your Side Can Help Your Car Accident Claim Immensely
While it is always best to file a police report, failing to do so (or having errors on your police report) does not ruin your case against the negligent driver. An experienced car accident attorney can help you deal with this issue. If you or a family member was hurt in a car accident contact us online or 866-299-0558 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.