Many people are involved in car accidents each day in Missouri and Kansas. The Missouri State Highway Patrol reports that in 2019, there were 157,038 total crashes. Meanwhile, the Kansas Department of Transportation reports that there were 60,473 crashes in 2015, the most recent year for which data is available. While here are situations in which most people would agree the police should be contacted after a car crash, there are times when it is challenging to get the police to respond to the scene after an accident.
This can occur when there are many car accidents (for example, during a snowstorm) or when the police are initially telling that no one has been hurt. If the police do not come to the scene, it is always important to make a report by going to the police station after you have been examined and released from medical treatment. Here are some critical details to remember about the role that police reports can play after car accidents.
When Should You File a Police Report?
If you are involved in a car crash or any other type of accident, you should always call the police to report an accident. After severe accidents occur, contacting the police can prove an excellent way to make sure that victims receive adequate care. Even if a minor accident occurs, filing a police report is the best way to create an unbiased record of what has been occurring. Some of the other advantages of filing a police report after an accident include:
- Accident reports provide details about how your crash occurred, which helps people remember as months or years go by.
- Injuries following car crashes often take days and even weeks to fully develop and be capable of being diagnosed. This can be especially true for concussions (a/k/a traumatic brain injuries). In other words, sometimes mild injuries actually can turn into a debilitating and lifelong condition. By creating a report now, you make sure to fully document your claim.
- Without a police report, the other party in the accident might try and blame you for the resulting damage. Could even file suit against you. A police report indicates you were not at fault for a car accident. It will help to make sure that doesn’t happen.
- If the other driver was at-fault and does not have insurance, or the other driver leaves the scene and can’t be identified, you likely can pursue an uninsured motorist claim through your own insurance company, but insurance policies generally require that a police report be made in order to do so.
What Happens if You Do Not File an Accident Report?
If you fail to write a police report, the other party in the accident could claim you were at fault when that is not true. Police officers who investigate traffic accidents should be inependent and unbiased witnesses, which is why their testimony is important. In addition, police officers should get the contact information of any witnesses to the car accident. This can be vital information to have in case the other driver falsely claims you were at fault.
Police Reports Can Help in Many Different Situations
Based on the details surrounding your car crash, police reports can end up serving a vital role. Consider some of the following situations and how the existence of a police report would help:
- The other person claims excessive damage. By having a police report that documents the accident, you have protection in establishing what occurred in the crash.
- Insurance company denies the claim. Insurance carriers lose money when they have to pay out on an insurance claim, which is why they routinely defend. Also, deny and delay paying out on claims. By having a police report, however, you have much more persuasive and controlling documentation about how your car occurred.
- A lawsuit is filed. If another party in your accident files a lawsuit, having a police report can establish what occurred as well as who was involved.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident
When car crashes occur, victims are often left uncertain about how to proceed. One of the best steps to take in such a situation is to promptly obtain the services of a skilled attorney. Contact House Law LLC today to schedule a free case evaluation.