A car accident is a harrowing experience that can leave those involved shaken up, injured, or even worse, dead. With all of the emotion and activity in the aftermath of a car accident, even a minor fender bender, it can be easy to forget the crucial steps that you should take to protect yourself after a crash. From a legal standpoint, this is a critical time to maintain a level head and collect the necessary documentation for use in an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
What happens if you didn’t obtain a police report right after your car accident? How do you prove negligence without a police report? If you have been involved in a car accident, seek the guidance of an experienced auto accident attorney like those at Cueria Law Firm in New Orleans, Louisiana. Our team of skilled attorneys has had success helping other car accident victims prove negligence, even when they did not have a written police report to back them up. When you need a trusted attorney to help you through the complicated legal process after a motor vehicle accident, contact Cueria Law Firm right away for a consultation.
Benefits of a Police Report
There are several reasons why it is important to obtain a police report after your car accident. A police report is a written record of the events based on the information gathered by the police officer on the scene. It may include the officer’s thoughts on the accident and interviews with the parties involved and any witnesses. The report often indicates if the other driver received any citations, which will be helpful information if you file a claim with the other party’s insurance company.
While a police report is not mandatory in minor motor vehicle accidents, it does hold weight in the insurance claims process. When you do not have a police report, insurance companies may be less likely to pay you the damages you deserve. The absence of a police report could mean the difference between the insurance company denying your claim and a sizable settlement to cover the costs of your medical care or property damage.
There are other important factors to keep in mind when it comes to police reports. The police report contains the facts of the incident, but it also includes the opinions of the officer, drivers, and witnesses. Therefore, a police report does not provide cut-and-dry evidence in your claim. Even so, the Louisiana DMV recommends that the police are called to any motor vehicle accident so that a formal police report can be submitted.
What if the Police Do Not Come to the Scene of my Car Accident?
If you were in an automobile accident and the police did not come to the scene, you can still collect valuable information on your own that can be useful in the event that you or the other party decide to file an insurance claim. Interview witnesses who saw the accident and collect their contact information so they can be reached at a later date. Take photos of the accident scene, including the location of the incident, damages, and injuries. As soon as possible after the accident, go to the police station and file a police report. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to prove negligence in your claim.
Any time you are involved in an automobile accident, it is recommended that you call the police immediately so that there is a written report of the car crash. If the police do not come to the scene, it is your responsibility to collect the information that you will need to establish liability in an insurance or personal injury claim.
Protect yourself after a car accident by contacting one of our Louisiana automobile accident attorneys at Cueria Law Firm. Even if you do not have a police report, call our office today to consult with our expert auto accident attorneys who will help you understand your rights after your car accident.