After a car accident, it is natural to feel overwhelmed and scared. However, it is important to stay calm and take the necessary steps to protect your legal rights and ability to recover your losses. One of the first things you should do is call the police so that they can come to the accident scene and make a report. A police report can have a potentially big impact on your car accident claim, so you should obtain a copy of it.
Is a Police Report Legally Required in the Event of an Accident?
Unless there is suspected criminal activity or the other driver left the scene of the accident, you don’t have to file a police report after a car accident.
Benefits of a Police Report
If you plan to file an insurance claim, having a copy of a police report is beneficial. This report includes details about how and why the accident occurred. Police often take witness statements and document evidence, such as vehicle location or the presence of skid marks. This all helps the insurance company determine who was at fault of the accident. If you have a police report, you can also collect witness statements in a timely fashion. Witnesses become harder to reach over time and may have forgotten details of the accident.
Other Reporting May be Required
A police report might not be legally required, but you may have to report the accident with the DMV or another licensing agency. The majority of states require all accidents to be reported if certain damage threshold limits are crossed. If you fail to file a report with the DMV or another licensing agency, you can face serious consequences, like getting your driver’s license suspended or your vehicle impounded.
Although you are not required to have a police report to file an insurance, it’s still beneficial to obtain it. A police report can prove liability and help you secure evidence to protect your legal rights. If you were involved in a car accident, you may want to consult with an experienced attorney, like a personal injury lawyer Memphis, TN can trust. He or she can inform you of your legal rights and improve your chances of getting the compensation you deserve. Most car accident lawyers offer free initial consultations, so you have nothing to lose by talking to one about your case.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Wiseman Bray for their insight into car accident cases.