Many people wonder if they need a police report for their car accident claim. Yes, because it’s potentially one piece of evidence that can increase your chances of compensation by providing facts about the accident. Feel free to ask a Kansas City auto accident lawyer for advice if you have any questions, but basically, here’s what you should know.
Why a Police Report Helps Your Car Accident Claim in MO
Some states require law enforcement to be called to an accident scene under certain conditions, such as:
- Someone was injured or killed
- Property damages were severe
- You’re involved in a hit-and-run or with an uninsured driver
Calling the police to the scene in some other situations is optional. However, not placing a 911 call could delay the police report process, so even motorists in minor car accidents could benefit from filing a police report.
For one, many auto insurance companies require a police report to be submitted with a car accident claim. Insurance agents consider police reports to be a form of evidence that supports details about the accident. They compare these facts to your account of the incident, statements from others, and additional evidence.
Additionally, the attending police officer generating the report might list more details about the condition of the vehicle, your injuries, and other points. So when your car accident attorney calculates your damages for financial recovery, the report reinforces the cause and effect of the incident and how it applies to your claim. A police report also provides evidence that helps defend your claim in case the at-fault driver falsified information. An insurance adjuster is more likely to believe the report over the other motorist, which could help expedite the processing of your claim.
If law enforcement doesn’t provide a copy of the police report after the accident, you or your legal representative will have to request one.
Other Actions to Take After a Car Accident
The immediate shock of a car accident leaves you disoriented, especially if you’re injured and unable to take care of key details that might later pertain to your potential case. Just remember to always:
- Call 911 and wait for law enforcement and emergency personnel to arrive.
- If you’re able to or can ask someone to help you, take pictures or videos of your injuries, the accident scene, and vehicle damage. Also, get contact and insurance information from the other motorists, and names and numbers of eyewitnesses.
- Always accept medical attention, even if it means going to the emergency room. What might appear to be minor injuries at first could actually evolve into something more serious in a few hours.
- When talking with the police during the reporting process, be careful not to admit to anything, apologize, or in any other way indicate fault.
If you think you might need to file a car accident case, document injury symptoms as you recover and save all car accident-related expenses, such as medical bills, transportation costs, pay stubs, and more. Like the police report, these facts make it easier for your attorney to build your case.