Whenever you are in an accident, even if it’s just a fender bender, it’s important that you file an accident report with the police.
This could mean calling the police to have them document it in person, or filing the report after it happened. Here are a few scenarios when an accident report can help.
Other Person Denies It’s Their Fault
Let’s say someone merges into your lane and hits the side of your car. It’s not so bad that you need to call the police, and the other person admits it’s their fault. The problem is that you never know when the other person might try to do something unethical in order to get out of paying for the damage they did. By filing an accident report, you can officially state what happened and have a record of the accident and facts.
Other Person Claims Excessive Damage or Injury
Let’s say the accident was your fault, but the person says it’s not worth calling the police. Unfortunately, there are many scams that start out this way. Their next step is to claim injury or excessive damage, even though it was a small incident. It’s always better to heir on the side of caution and have the police at the scene to document what happened.
Insurance Company Denies Claim
In general, insurance companies don’t like paying out money in claims. By having a police report, you can have official documentation of what happened. Insurance companies will often process the claim faster and with a more true value of the accident if there is a police report. Otherwise, it’s your word against theirs, which can be a difficult spot to be in.
A Lawsuit is Filed
If either party files a lawsuit, the accident report is a very important piece. It will establish the facts of what happened, potentially who was at fault, and any additional relevant information. Even if you are at fault, having an accident report can help protect you from having to pay more than what you should actually owe.
If you are in any kind of an accident, I encourage you to call the police to have them create a report of what happened. In addition, document the accident yourself by following these tips on what to do after a car accident.
If you have been in an accident and have any questions about what to do next, feel free to give me a call at 949-496-7000.