Importance of Accident Reports After An Accident

The filing of a police report can benefit you in numerous ways. Most importantly, filing a police report will help assist your insurance company in handling any claims that arise from your accident. If your vehicle accident gives rise to any legal issues, a police report that is filed soon after the accident will also help your attorney represent you to the best of their ability.

In order for your insurance company to better assist you, they will need an accurate record of the accident. Those who wait to file a police report days after an accident have allowed for time to pass, which often leads to an inaccurate record. Filing a police report immediately following an automobile accident is important to ensure that all the details of the collision be reported as accurately as possible.  Such accident reports are essential for assisting your insurance company in handling your claim in an effective and favorable manner. It is important that your insurance company has a clear record which accurately reflects the events leading up to and surrounding your motor vehicle accident. If you report the accident when the accident is fresh in your mind, and when the accident scene still leaves traces of the accident for the police officer to investigate this will often lead to a clear and more accurate record. Waiting a substantial amount of time before filing the accident report gives the opportunity for one to forget important events that occurred, and for the accident scene to be altered through the passage of time.

Filing an accident report can assist your insurance company with all of the information that may be necessary to properly handle your claim.  At times, an accident report may be the only accurate documentation collected from a car accident and the majority of the time it is used in determining who is at fault and financially responsible for the accident. An accurate police report can ensure protection for you if there are any legal issues that may arise following the accident. Even if you are involved in a minor fender-bender, or a more serious accident such as a hit-and-run, it is always important to move your vehicle to a safe location, and to call the police and wait for them to come to the scene to file a report. This process can seem timely, but securing that accident report as soon as possible is for your benefit and will better assist you, your insurance company, and your attorney if any personal injury claims were to arise.

Some people would “rather not” get the police involved after an accident, especially if damages seem to be minor. However, a police report provides an UNBIASED third party report of the incident and can be used as objective evidence, as opposed to a he-said she-said argument as to who was at fault. The police officer plays an instrumental role in observing all the evidence objectively and giving an impartial and unbiased opinion. Without that objective evidence, litigating a claim that should result in your favor could create an unfavorable result. The police officer’s report is used by the insurance companies, and potentially your attorney, in handling your claim and getting you the compensation that you deserve.

What important information can be included on police reports?

  • The location where the accident took place
  • The date and time of the accident
  • Damages to the vehicles involved
  • Any injuries sustained by drivers or passengers
  • Contact information for any witnesses to the accident
  • Insurance information for all parties involved
  • Description of how the accident occurred
  • Who caused and/or contributed to the accident.

So remember, if you want your claim handled in an efficient and effective manner, and you want to get a favorable result when you deserve a result in your favor, ALWAYS file a police report after the accident! Call us today at 704-333-0885 if you’ve been in an accident and need assistance, with offices in Charlotte, Gastonia, Hickory and Rock Hill, SC we have locations just a short distance away.
Written by: Lindsay Lundy, Administrative Assistant with Campbell & Associates, Attorneys at Law.