One of the steps those involved in an automobile accident are encouraged to take is to file a police report. In fact, in most states, where the incident is significant or injuries are involved, filing a police report is required by law. In a small incident, however, like a fender bender or an accident that takes place on private property, it can be tempting to forego the police report and exchange information instead. This can create some problems down the road. Here is why an automobile accident report is important in an automobile claim.
A Police Report Documents the Accident Occurred
This sounds simple enough, but more than anything, a police report documents that an incident occurred. This is critical should one party or another deny their presence at the incident at a later date. Those involved need to show their driver’s licenses, registration and proof of insurance during the report.
Falsifying a Police Report Is a Crime
While an individual may not be honest about the information exchanged at an accident scene, providing false information to the police is a crime. This makes is far more likely the driver information on a police report is accurate.
Citations Will Be Noted
If a driver was cited for an accident, any citations will be noted in the police report. This is very valuable in determining an at-fault party.
It Is Valuable in Filing an Insurance Claim
A police report becomes the “go to” report for insurance companies in determining who should pay for an insurance claim based on details of the incident and coverage carried by the drivers. It contains just about every detail and every piece of data required to file a claim.
If you are involved in a damage accident, take photos of the scene, the damage and those involved, take notes and get names of any witnesses. Of course, if any injuries are suspected, medical help should be sought. You also want to make sure a police report is filed documenting the details of your accident.
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