Do You Need a Police Report to File an Insurance Claim?
So, do you need a police report to file an insurance claim? Not always. The responding police officer’s accident report can provide the insurance company and your attorney with some important information about what happened and might help you establish that the other driver caused the collision. However, you can still file an accident claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company even if you do not have a copy of the police officer’s report. Make sure to promptly notify both your insurance company and the other driver’s insurance company about your accident so that they can begin their investigations.
Why Getting a Police Report Is Important
It can be much more difficult to prove your claim if you do not have a police report. The insurance company might deny that your accident occurred. When there is no police report, the company might dispute that the damage to your car and your injuries were caused by a collision. The insurer might also argue that you do not have enough evidence to support your claim for coverage. Suffice it to say, failing to get a police report can make it difficult for you to recover compensation from the other driver’s insurance company.
What If the Police Refused to Respond to the Scene?
In some cases, the police will not come to an accident scene. This might occur when there is bad weather, the collision is relatively minor, or the accident happens in a private parking lot. If the police do not respond, you should still do the following things:
- Get the other driver’s name, contact information, driver’s license number, registration, and insurance information.
- Take pictures of the accident scene, the damage to both vehicles, and the license plate, make, and model of the other vehicle.
- Get the names of all witnesses along with their contact information.
- Note whether you see nearby surveillance or traffic cameras.
- Write down the location of the collision.
- Promptly seek medical attention.
- Notify your insurance company and the other motorist’s insurance company immediately.
You might be required to report your accident to the state even if the police did not respond to the scene. In Arkansas, you must report any collision in which more than $1,000 in damage was caused, someone was injured, or someone was killed. This accident report must be made within 30 days of your accident.
In Oklahoma, you must immediately report an accident to the police when anyone is injured or killed. If no one was injured, you are still required to report your accident to the state if $300 or more in damage was caused to either vehicle.
Since the cost of repairing damage to vehicles has significantly increased, this means that you will likely need to report any accident in which you are involved. It also makes sense to file a report to protect your interests and your potential claim.
Getting a Copy of Your Police Report
If the police came to the accident scene, you can get a copy from the law enforcement agency that responded. Similarly, if you did receive a copy but have since lost it, you can ask for another one. If you were transported from the scene with serious injuries, your attorney can help you obtain the police report.
Do you have questions about how to get a copy of the police report from your accident or how to report it to the state? Ask a personal injury lawyer for help.
Talk to the Law Offices of Craig L. Cook
If you are involved in a collision, you should always call 911 to ask for the police to respond. If they don’t respond, you should still file an accident report with the state and take other steps to preserve evidence at the scene. If you were injured in a collision caused by someone else, schedule a free consultation with the Law Offices of Craig L. Cook by calling 479-783-8000 (Fort Smith), 918-912-2132 (Tulsa), or 479-455-2210 (Fayetteville).