I didn’t file a police report for my car wreck, can an attorney still help?

By | September 18, 2013

If you’ve been involved in a car accident and the police didn’t come to the site, you haven’t lost your claim. You still have a case. A police report is most often used as a fact sheet that contains contact information, insurance information, description of the accident and the assigned fault. There’s also a reasonable summary of the damage done to both vehicles involved. It’s not necessary to have a police report in order to file a personal injury claim.

What’s Necessary After an Accident

The most important step that you have to take is exchanging information with the other driver. You have to get the full name, make, model and year of the vehicle. You also want to get the name of the insurance company and policy number. Without the policy number, you will have a hard time getting the insurance policy. Large insurance companies who have thousands of policy holders will not be able to help you.

The second most important step is to seek out medical attention for your injuries immediately. If you experience any type of pain, memory less, broken bone, cut, whiplash or other injury, you’ll need a medical record to show damages and pursue your claim.

What to Bring When Meeting an Attorney

After the accident, you’ll need to file a liability claim with an attorney if you suffered any injuries. If you did file an accident claim with your insurance and the other party’s insurance who hit you, you’ll have two claim numbers for the incident. This information is the most necessary when you meet with an attorney. If you haven’t started a claim yet, you’ll need the other party’s name, insurance company and policy number. An attorney can actually start the process for you and ensure that you get all the information.

As you see, a police report does help with all of the information, but you shouldn’t give up on a claim if you know that you can prove liability and suffered damages.

Proving Liability without Police Report

In order to win your case, you have to prove liability. There are multiple ways to prove liability without a police report. These include:

  • If the injured party was in a place he or she was supposed to be or allowed to be, and the other party hit that person or otherwise injured them with their vehicle would be liable because they should have expected to be more careful.
  • The employer may be responsible if a worker hits you while in a service vehicle.
  • If the other party was driving recklessly such as illegally turning, driving too fast or weaving in and out of lanes, they will be held liable.

In many cases, both parties are somewhat at fault, which means that liability may be reduced to a very small amount or nothing at all. The key point is to have a lawyer on your side who can determine whether liability can proven beyond a rational doubt. Once you can prove liability, then you will be able to collect some form of damages. While the police report is handy in determining fault, often it is inconclusive. It is up to research, witness accounts, photographs, insurance appraisal and videos to determine the fault of the drivers involved.

When States Require Police Reports

If the police weren’t called to the scene, you can always file a police report later. Some states require that if you have a lawsuit, you must file a police report as well. In most cases, you have to file a police report if there are over $500 in damages. However this doesn’t have to be done at the scene of the accident particularly if you required immediate medical attention.

It’s also important to note that many insurance companies will tell you that you need a police report, but this is the wrong advice. You can always pursue a case in court just by proving liability and damages. Again, by contacting car accident lawyers, you can get a consultation to assess the liability and really tell you whether you have a case or not. Most lawyers even provide a free consultation. The police report is inconsequential to your lawsuit if you have evidence of liability and medical records to show damages. Many people have made a case with much less and won.

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