Why Filing a Police Report After an Accident is Essential

Auto Accident / April 26, 2021

Many of us have been in this scenario: A car accident occurs, and the other motorist discourages contacting the police. Perhaps the other motorists says the accident isn’t that serious, or that he or she is pressed for time.

You might feel pressured to agree, or feel like you’re doing the other person a favor. Yet in most cases, you’d be making a mistake — and one with potentially serious consequences.

The Need for a Post-Accident Police Report

Police reports are key documents in terms of establishing the facts of a collision. Insurance companies, attorneys and courts rely on these reports to provide information about the circumstances of a collision. If you’ve been in a collision and the other driver was at fault, failing to secure a police report may weaken your case when it is time to negotiate or go to court.

What if the Accident is Minor?

Accidents that seem minor at first glance often become far more serious with time. For example, a collision that results in minimal obvious damage to a car and no injuries to a person may make a police report seem superfluous. Why wait and waste time? The truth, however, is that even a seemingly minor collision may cause substantial problems down the road.

Structural damage to a vehicle may not be readily apparent following a collision, for example. This damage could result in thousands of dollars in repair bills. More significantly, injuries from collisions may not manifest until days or weeks have passed.

Without a police report, you will likely be at a significant disadvantage moving forward if either of these things occurs to you. A police report is regarded as a more objective version of events, and is a cornerstone document in accident litigation and insurance claims processing.

This means that except in the most glancing of collisions, you should always insist on documenting the incident with a police report.

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