Many accident victims don't know the importance of filing a police report following a road mishap. Bear in mind that not every injury displays symptoms immediately. You may end believing you don't have any serious injuries after a car crash, only to start experiencing discomfort later on. However, if you intend to seek compensation for your injuries whether major or minor, a police report may come in handy in terms of strengthening your case. Read on for further insight.
Importance of a police report
Besides providing documentation about the alleged accident, a police report denotes an impartial third-party report of the incident. As your lawyer will tell you, this may be more effective and substantial as evidence compared to what seems to be hearsay or narrating the events leading to the accident from your vantage point. Moreover, your insurance company will ask for the police report if they have to compensate you for the damages suffered.
So what type of information is captured in a police report?
- The location of the accident
- The exact date and time of the mishap
- Any form of damage to the vehicles involved
- Any sustained injuries by motorists, pedestrians or witnesses
- The statements of other motorists or witnesses
Even if you're at fault for the car accident, it is still important to file a police report. Consider a situation where the other driver alleges that they suffered a very serious injury when in reality that's false. A police report, in this instance, can save you from being held accountable for a false or exaggerated injury.
How to file a police report
To begin with, contact the police immediately after a car accident. Nowadays the police have toll-free numbers which allow you to contact them without being charged. Next, discuss the particulars of the mishap with the police officer. You can expect to be asked a number of questions pertaining to the occurrence of the accident. Other drivers and eye witnesses may be interviewed as well. Finally, ensure you get hold of the copy of the police report so that you can send it to your insurance company.
If you intend to seek compensation for injuries sustained in a car accident due to the fault of another party, consulting a lawyer will likely be your best course of action. To increase your chances of obtaining compensation, a police report can swing the case in your favour.