Not every car accident requires police coming to the scene, especially a minor collision. If you don’t have a police report, what happens when you file a claim and the insurance company asks for one?
The insurance company cannot outright deny your claim just because you are missing a police report. However, there are some ways it can impact your claim, and Sacramento car accident attorneys can help you.
In California, drivers who are involved in an accident resulting in injury or death are legally required to file a police report within 24 hours of the accident.
Accidents that involve injuries, death or property damage of more than $1,000 must also be reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within 10 days.
Police reports generally are also reported to the DMV, so if you have filed a police report, you may not have to file a second report with the DMV. However, double-check that the officer handling your accident case did his or her due diligence and reported the crash accordingly.
Although you are not legally required to file a police report after every accident, there are some benefits to doing so.
Filing a police report provides an objective third party to review the scene of the accident and give an unbiased account of who was at fault for the crash. This could serve as evidence to prove the other driver’s negligence to the insurance company.
Another benefit of a police report is that police officers sometimes interview witnesses at the scene who may also provide testament to how the crash happened. Having someone who saw the lead up to the crash first-hand could also help you prove your claim.
Even though insurers may not deny a claim simply because you never filed a police report, they could use this against you. Lacking this key piece of evidence could affect your claim because your accident could become a “he-said, she-said” argument with no objective third-party to assign fault.
Keep in mind that passengers in your vehicle are not considered impartial witnesses to the insurance company since he or she may have a stake in who gets assigned fault.
If you did not call the police after your accident and still need to file a claim, still proceed as you would any other claim.
Be sure to exchange required information, including insurance, with the other driver or drivers involved in the accident. Do not accept any cash payment, or promise of payment, from another driver after a crash. If the accident is not your fault, file your claim with his or her insurance company.
Your best chance at a favorable outcome to your accident claim is by having evidence that proves another driver is responsible for an accident that caused your injuries.
Our attorneys are prepared to help you prove another driver’s negligence, even if you did not file a police report.
Learn how. Call today at (916) 777-7777