If you have been involved in a car accident, you need to call the police or wait for them to arrive so that they can generate an accident report. This is not just going through the motions; it has real benefits for your accident case going forward. Here are some of the reasons you should get the police report:
It's a Way of Preserving Evidence
All drivers know that they should do their best to preserve evidence if they have been involved in a car accident. Conventional methods of preserving evidence include taking witnesses' contacts and taking pictures of the accident scene. However, many people don't know that getting the police report is also a way of persevering evidence. The police report will contain factual details about the accident, such as time, location, visibility, and weather, as well as a preliminary assessment of liability. You can use the report to strengthen or prove your claim when making your accident claim later.
The Law May Require It
State laws determine when you should call the police (who will automatically generate the accident report) after a car accident. As a rule, you are supposed to call or wait for the police if the accident has caused damage or injury unless you are leaving the scene to get medical attention. Since you may not always be aware of the specific laws of your state, it's best to err on the side of caution and call the police for any level of injury or damage.
Your Auto Insurance Company Requires It
Apart from state laws, auto insurance companies also require their clients to report all accident cases even when no claim is to be filed. In many cases, the insurance company will require police notification when you contact them about your accident. In fact, you will have a hard time processing your car accident claim if the insurance carrier realizes that you didn't involve the police.
Protects You from the Other Driver's Claims
Lastly, contacting the police or assisting with the generation of the police report also protects you from potential bogus claims of the other motorists. For example, some motorists may claim more severe damages or injuries than they sustained in the accident if there is no evidence refuting their claims. In some cases, they may even claim you caused an accident that they were clearly guilty of accusing. However, this won't be the case if you got a police report because the report will contain all the details of the accident.
To learn more, contact an auto accident lawyer near you.