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Your Car Accident and The Police

Answers to Questions about Filing a Poilice Report after a Car Accident


Two damage cars after accident
Eric Van Den Brulle/ Stone/ Getty Images
Filing a police report after a car accident is an important step in making sure all the details of the car accident are reported. Filing the accident report will not only provide your insurance company with a basis on how to properly handle your claim but an accurate crash report will ensure protection for you if there are any legal problems that may occur from the car accident.

Getting Detailed and Accurate Information on the Accident Report is Key

There are some important things to remember when filing your police report after a car accident. An accident report or crash report can sometimes be the only accurate information collected from the car accident and therefore can be one of the most important tools in determining fault and who is financially responsible for the car accident. Your insurance company wants a speedy claim as much as you do, and filing a detailed and accurate police report keeps the claims process smooth and quick. Lets look at a few things to remember that will help you file an accurate and detailed police report after a car accident:

File a Police Report Regardless of How Small the Car Accident Seems
Even if there is only minor damage it is important to still make sure an accident report is filed. Sometimes there is more physical and medical damage later that is not always apparent at the time of the car accident.

Be Honest and Detailed with the Police Officer
Right after an accident you can be shaken up and startled a little. That feeling of being vulnerable and scared can sometimes lead one to be worried about getting in trouble more that they want to. Of course it is never a good idea to lie to the police officer that is filing the car accident report... it will not only cause delays in the claims process but it may land you in jail. The damage is done so just tell the truth and let your insurance company handle the rest. Remember, no one is perfect and even the best of drivers make mistakes.

You Can Still Avoid an Insurance Claim and File a Police Report
Sometimes after a car accident both parties agree they would rather handle the financial issues themselves than contact their insurance companies. But, if you decide to make an agreement to receive a payment from the other person involved in the car accident or you agree to give them a payment instead of using your insurance company to handle the claim, you still need to file a crash report with the police. You don't know what the other person in the car accident will decide to do or say later. With a police report there will be a legally documented description of what occurred just in case something else come up from the car accident later.

If You Can't File a Police Report Make Sure You Document Well
There may be a situation in which a police officer is not available because of your location or other reasons. If you are in a situation where you are not able to file a police report immediately at the scene of the accident, then make sure you document the accident and damages thoroughly. Also, find witnesses and write down or audio record (you can do this with some cell phones) their version of what happened at the scene of the car accident. Then file your police report as soon as you can and give the police officer the information you collected.

Know How to Get in Contact With the Police Officer Who Filed Your Accident Report
After the accident report is filed and you receive a copy of it or information on how to get a copy, make sure you get a card and/or direct contact information from the police officer who filed the accident report. Often after an accident some details are remembered later and these details can be very important, especially if the car accident claim snowballs into a lawsuit. If you find you have remembered some key details after the accident report is filed, contact the police officer and see if you can add these details to the accident report.

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