After car accidents that do not involve serious injuries, fatalities, or totaled vehicles, many drivers prefer not to file a law enforcement report. Instead, drivers sometimes rely on simply exchanging details with the other driver involved in the crash. Unfortunately, deciding not to involve law enforcement in an accident can greatly jeopardize the outcome of a claim or case for someone who has been injured, including whether or not you can receive compensation. If you are injured in an accident and do not file a report with the police, you might still have enough time to file a law enforcement report to receive the compensation that you deserve. There are several important reasons why you should file a police report if you have been involved in a Missouri or Kansas car crash, which is discussed below.
Police Reports Should Report Objective Evidence Regarding Your Crash
Police and other law enforcement officers are trained to investigate car crashes. A law enforcement officer will document evidence from the scene, including damage to vehicles, whether the people involved reported any injuries, whether they were taken to a hospital by ambulance, whether the automobiles were towed, and any issues with malfunctioning traffic signals. They also document statements made by those persons involved and other witnesses. These reports can thus be very helpful for parties, their attorneys, and for insurance companies in making determinations of fault. Additionally, a police officer’s determination of fault can play a critical role in shaping how an insurance carrier handles your claim.
Police Reports Include Assessments of Fault
Police reports note how accidents occurred, which include details about any violations that either of the parties involved in the crash made. These reports will often provide an officer’s initial assessment of who is at fault for the accident. After all of the critical details are analyzed, a final report will often include a final determination about the fault. Insurance carriers often have a challenging time denying a claim if law enforcement assesses that the other party who was involved in your crash is responsible.
Police Reports Document Your Injuries
Even though you might feel okay immediately after a car crash, law enforcement will ask questions to assess whether you need medical care. If the police feel like you need medical care, an officer might summon paramedics to the scene of an accident. Otherwise, law enforcement will simply make a note of any injuries that you incurred in an accident. If law enforcement advises you to obtain medical care following an accident, you should make sure to do so. Remember, symptoms of serious injuries can be delayed following car crashes. If you wait to pursue medical treatment, the outcome of your claim can be greatly jeopardized.
Police Reports Protect Against Subsequent Litigation
Even if you are involved in a car crash with minor property damages or no injuries, you want to do everything possible to reduce your chances of ending up in a car crash. One of the best ways to protect against the risk of ending up in later legal action is to make sure to file a police report as soon as possible following a crash. If law enforcement declines to come to the scene of your accident, you should utilize your smartphone to take pictures and document notes about how the crash occurred.
Speak With a Compassionate Car Accident Lawyer
It can be confusing to determine how to best respond after car crashes occur to make sure you obtain the compensation you deserve. One of the best steps that you can take in such a situation is to obtain the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney. Contact House Law LLC today to schedule a free case evaluation.