Why You Should Always File a Police Report After an Accident
Every year, there are approximately six million car accidents on U.S. roads. Though many of those accidents are minor, some can be serious, resulting in expensive medical bills and vehicle repairs.
Your insurance agent can help you initiate an insurance claim against the responsible driver, but the claim alone isn’t always enough to get you the money you need to recover.
Filing a police report immediately after an accident is one of the best ways to simplify the process. Here are a few key reasons why you should always file a report after a car accident, whether it’s serious or just a fender-bender.
Police Can Help Keep Everyone Calm
After an accident, it’s normal to feel shaken up and stressed out, whether you’re at fault or not. When you’re stressed, it’s hard to talk to the other drivers involved in a calm way.
By calling the police after a car accident, you won’t’ have to interact with the other drivers on your own. In fact, you’re free to wait to start talking to them until the police arrive on the scene.
Once they’re there, the police officers will do everything they can to keep all parties involved as calm as possible. If other drivers get into heated exchanges, the officers will be able to step in and make sure no one gets hurt.
Even better, they’ll be able to guide the conversation to make sure the right information gets shared with each driver. This will make filing an insurance claim much easier in the long run.
They Document the Details You Might Miss
Police officers have the training required to observe the scene of an accident with a critical eye. They might notice details about the other drivers, vehicles, and witnesses that you might miss.
For example, they’ll be able to tell if a driver is even slightly under the influence far more easily than the average person. This can make a huge difference in determining fault and will make your case against the other driver stronger.
The more information you have about the accident, the easier it will be to get the insurance company to pay you what you deserve.
Officers Are Neutral at the Scene
Emotions get heated quickly when you’re trying to figure out what happened and who’s to blame for an accident. Even witnesses have a habit of choosing sides seemingly arbitrarily.
The police, however, are completely neutral. They’re able to get statements and put together a report without getting involved in the emotional side of things. This, in turn, can help both you and the at-fault driver remain calm the entire time.
Even better, you’ll be able to rely on the police’s findings because they have nothing to gain by choosing sides.
The Police Report Helps With Insurance Claims
When you speak with your insurance agent, the first thing they’ll ask you is if you’re okay. The second thing they’ll need to know is what happened.
Unfortunately, even the most observant people can forget the details after an accident.
By filing a report with the police, you’ll simplify the insurance claim process. The report can help your insurance agent piece together what happened so the claim can move forward as fast as possible.
Reports Help Determine Fault
The key to getting the largest settlement from the responsible driver’s insurance company is to prove that you’re not responsible for the accident. When insurance companies follow up on claims, they often struggle to determine fault.
This makes it hard to convince the responsible driver’s insurance company to give you the money you deserve.
With a police report in hand, you’ll be able to prove fault more easily. Even better, the at-fault driver’s insurance company can reach out to the police for clarification who will stand by the details in the report.
They Can Help Prove Your Case in Court
One of the main reasons that filing a report is such an important piece of advice for what to do after a car accident is because you may need to take the case to court. Remember, insurance companies work for themselves, not you.
It’s in their best interest to offer as small of a settlement as they can.
If you’re not happy with the offer or the claim gets denied entirely, you’ll want to talk to an experienced personal injury attorney. They’ll be able to represent your case in court and show that you deserve a better settlement.
Having a police report to pull information from will only make your case stronger. The stronger your case is, the more likely it is that you’ll win.
Police Reports Help Improve Safety on the Road
Filing a report doesn’t just help you prove your case with the insurance company. It also helps make the streets safer.
Reports document everything about the accident. This allows the police department and local government to identify repeat problems and find solutions to keep accidents from happening in the future.
By filing a report, you’ll have a direct hand in keeping others safe on the road in the long run.
Filing a Police Report After an Auto Accident Is Smart
No matter how minor or severe the accident is, filing a police report is always a good idea. Having the police on the scene will make gathering information easier and reduces the risk of confusion when you file an insurance claim.
Once you file the report, you’ll be able to use it to help you get a fair settlement.
Though the report is important, it’s not the only thing you need to take care of after a car accident. Check out our latest posts for more tips to help you navigate the post-accident insurance process with ease.