Do you need a police report to file a car accident claim? No, it is not 100% necessary to have a police report when filing your car accident claim. Although, it is greatly beneficial that you do have one.
A police report is useful for a car accident claim because:
- It provides a reputable source that the car accident happened.
- It can include mention of who the police officer thinks caused the crash.
- It can note if the other driver was distracted or intoxicated.
- It can detail how much damage was done to your vehicle.
- It can sometimes list important witness information.
Essentially, if there may be any dispute that your car accident happened or how it happened, then a police report can clear things up fairly easily. For this reason, many car insurance companies tell their policyholders to get a police report before filing a claim. Otherwise, if they file without it, then the insurance company or the opposing insurance company will see it as an opportunity to deny or delay the claim.
How Do You Get a Police Report?
If the police are notified of an accident, they will respond to the scene. When an officer shows up and if someone was hurt in the accident or a vehicle was seriously damaged, then the officer should complete a police report for you. To get a copy of that report, you can call the responding police station or department and provide basic information about the crash, assuming you did not get the report number handed to you directly by the officer.
If no officer responded to your crash, or you are not confident that they got all the correct information about it, then you can file a report of your own. You should head to the local police station within 24 hours of your accident to report it.
Again, not having a police report to accompany your car accident claim is not a deal breaker. You don’t lose the right to seek compensation just because there’s no police evidence about your accident. But it can be such a huge help for your case that it is always worth the time to file or get a copy of a report.
We Are Here to Help You
At Huffman & Huffman, we help injured clients throughout Hampton Roads and all over Virginia with every aspect of their personal injury case involving a car accident, including tracking down and using valuable police reports. If you have been injured in a car accident and need guidance on what to do next, give our team a call at (757) 330-3425 to schedule a free consultation now. We make things easy so that you can focus on your recovery. Let our family help your family!