Although no one want to be involved in a car accident, the unfortunate reality is that accidents happen. Moreover, in the wake of an accident, it can be hard to make rational decisions. In particular, deciding whether or not to call the police to file a report can be one of the most important decisions you are tasked with when being involved in an accident. However, could the lack of a police report prevent you from filing an insurance claim?

Filing an Insurance Claim without a Police Report

Some people believe that filing a police report is only required in extreme circumstances. Others say that filing a police report is optional altogether. However, the law has its own rules and regulations regarding this issue. The specifics are as follows:

  • Accidents on the Road: In general, most accidents that occur on the open road need to be reported to the police. This includes roads in the city, suburbs, side streets, highways, etc. However, while it is strongly recommended in these cases, it is not necessarily required.
  • Serious Accidents: If you are involved in an accident in which a person or their property is seriously harmed, it must be reported. This is so the police can assess the situation and serve as an authority figure and knowledgeable source moving forward.
  • Accidents Involving a Crime: Another case in which an accident needs to be reported is when a crime has been committed. In these cases, the authorities need to be alerted immediately in order to not only assess the damages in the accident but to attempt to catch the criminal and prevent further crimes from occurring.
  • Hit and Run Accidents: Lastly, hit and run accidents must be reported so that you can start a paper trail with regards to the accident. This will help the authorities track down the culprit sooner.

How Insurance Claims Work

When filing an insurance claim, you need to be sure that you have as much evidence as possible to show what actually happened. Especially in the case in which you are not at fault, you will be expected to provide some sort of proof that the other party was at fault. While it may seem like the cause of the crash is obvious, that doesn't mean the law will automatically view it that way. When filing a claim, be sure to include the police report, pictures, and any other evidence you may have. From there, the insurance company will investigate to determine who is at fault. If they decide in your favor, you will either receive a check or the company will have your vehicle transported to an approved auto shop to repair the work.

How Police Reports Work

When an accident happens, you will need to call the police so they can file a report. Once the police arrive, they will question you, the other driver(s), any witnesses, and assess the damages to make an informed decision on who they believe is at fault. From there, this information is entered into the database with an assigned number, so it can be easily be accessed later.

What to Do After an Accident

As mentioned, after an accident, you need to call the police. However, there are also other things that need to be done. For instance, you need to take pictures of the cars in the same position they were in upon impact. If you are not at fault, these will prove to be invaluable. Moreover, you will also want to take a picture of the person driving as well as their license plate number, in case they try to flee the scene. Additionally, you always want to get insurance information as you can call and report the accident to their insurance company immediately, in order to ensure they open the case as soon as possible.

Filing a Claim Without a Police Report

While having a police report will give you great leverage, you can still file a claim without one. However, if you do not have enough evidence and the other party contests the claim, it could prove to be difficult to collect. In these cases, the insurance company will come out, assess the damages on both cars, and decide which party is at fault. If this does not work in your favor, you could hire a lawyer and perhaps even a private investigator to help prove your case. However, if you have full coverage, you can have the damages paid for by your own company, who will, in turn, go after the other party for reimbursement.

Overall, if you are involved in an accident, getting a police report is the best way to protect yourself. However, if you do not have one, you can still file your claim. Nevertheless, you need to be prepared to prove your case if you do not have the added advantage of a filed police report. Either way, if you are looking for high-quality insurance coverage, contact today.