Do you need to File a Police Report after an Accident?

This is a daunting question that may haunt drivers upon their first collision. It is hard to know if and when the police are necessary. Does a simple fender bender warrant a visit from the police? Yes, it certainly does. There is no legal obligation to obtain a police report following an accident, but it is in everyone’s best interest to do so.

Repercussions that Come from not Filing a Police Report

Even though police reports aren’t necessary, they help a lot; especially in accidents with injuries. If you want compensation from an accident, a personal injury attorney will require a copy of your police report for your case. The accident may not be severe, but an unknown injury could still resurface later. This can be said for car damages as well. Someone might harmlessly run into your bumper without leaving a scratch. This may seem like a “non-issue” that requires no police or insurance. However, if two days later that bumper falls because the accident made it flimsy, you’ll be the one covering the expense.

How Does One File a Police Report?

Police reports are really simple to fill out, and take little time. The police will come to the place of accident to file a report there, or it can be done on the phone. If this is the case, be sure to pick up a copy of the report from the police station later. The only information that is needed for the report is: where the accident took place, the time and day of the accident, any damage that has been done to the cars, injuries that were caused by collision, and statements from witnesses and the other drivers. The great thing about this is that the police will give an unbiased third person opinion. They can help determine who was in the wrong. This is particularly helpful when there’s no obvious victim or perpetrator.

What if I caused the Accident?

If you are at fault, you should not avoid the police report. This official document could save you.  If the other driver tries to fake an injury or damage to their car, this document could protect you. You certainly don’t want to be duped into buying some biker guy a new set of rims. Take the precautions you need to protect yourself. No one wants to cause an accident, but things happen. It is best to save yourself in the long run instead of avoiding the problem for a quick fix. Many problems can be avoided by filing a police report and taking the right steps after an accident.

What Safety Measures Should I take After an Accident?

Police reports are important, but they’re invaluable if you don’t know what to do after an accident. First of all, pull over. Make sure you are not blocking traffic and turn on you hazards. Then, check both yourself and others for injuries. Car accidents are dangerous. It is best to suss out if a medic is needed ASAP. If someone is seriously injured, don’t move them. Call 911 and await their arrival. If no one is injured, call the police. Be sure to note which police officers handle the accident, too. And let them know if you have any suspicions of the other driver being under the influence. Then, make sure to trade information with the other driver including: phone number, insurance provider, and license plate numbers, too. Be sure to check in with accident witnesses, as well. They’ll have a clear view of the accident that you could not have seen. Finally, record pictures and information to share with your insurance agent. The more descriptive you are, the better. You can then contact them with all the information, and see what can be done. Of course, the best way to avoid this scenario is to avoid an accident.

How do I Prevent an Accident?

Preventing an accident isn’t always as easy as it seems. You could be the greatest driver in the world, and still get hit. There are many scary drivers out there, and that’s without the added danger off phones, drinking, and drugs. These make bad drivers worse.The best we can do is try to stay alert, buckle up, and keep our eyes on the road. Stick to driving laws as much as possible, turn on your lights when it is dark, and never drive if you have had a sever lack of sleep. These tips won’t stop card accidents, but they are sure to help. And if you don’t get in a car accident, then you’ll never have to worry about the dreaded police report.