A police report of your car accident is an important document and finding it is a crucial step. It will help you see all the documented details and the involved parties.
After an accident, make sure to report it to the police. In some states, it is a requirement, and such is the case in New York. Once you do this, you have done your part in protecting your interests and you follow the law requirements. This will be to your benefit if there’s a lawsuit after the accident.
Be sure to contact a New York car accident attorney after the accident; very often they will help you to get this report.
File a Report Even for Minor Collisions
Even if you had a minor accident and small damages and non-life-threatening injuries, make sure that the officer files a report. This way they will document exactly what happened. The physical damage might not always be visible when the accident occurs, and your injuries might not appear right then and there. But, in case your mechanic discovers damages, and you get injury symptoms after a day or two, you will be able to prove that these things occurred because of the accident. This is especially important when you’ll file for a compensation claim. The police report is like a backup for you; otherwise, the insurers might not want to pay a settlement arguing that your damages and injuries occurred after (and separately) from the accident.
Filing a Police Report and Making a Claim
Filing a police report doesn’t automatically means that you’re filing for an insurance claim. These reports serve only as a record of the accident.
If you or the other party or parties involved in the accident decide to file a compensation claim can use the police report to handle financial issues. If you file a compensation claim seeking a settlement from the other driver’s insurance company, you can use the report to your benefit.
Even though you may face a situation where the other party is offering you money for your damages and injuries, don’t accept this. The money may seem appealing, but in case your damages are bigger and your injuries take more treatments and a longer recovery, you won’t be able to get a claim from the insurance company.
When you file the accident report you’ll have to give your insurance company with basis on how to manage the claim but you also give them the exact accident report. This way you let them represent you in whatever comes up about the crash (so you won’t have to deal with it by yourself).
Stay at the scene, wait for the police to arrive and take a full report. Avoid taking money from the other party, and surely don’t explain or apologize for anything even if the accident was your fault.
Personal Injuries and Police Reports
Being involved in a car accident is a stressful event even if you have no injuries. You may feel shaken and scared and won’t be able to judge the situation at that moment. The police have experience in noticing potential problems and can be of great help. They will deal with the thirty parties on your behalf.
All involved parties in the crash will get questions and will have to fill in the accident report details.
Failing to file the report and noticing injuries after a few days, will be very difficult for you to obtain a settlement.
What if the Police Don’t Come to the Accident
In some cases, the police officer might not be able to come to the scene (because they aren’t available for other reasons). These are some reasons why the police may not come to the scene:
- In some states, the police aren’t required to come to the scene of an accident if it’s a minor accident with low damages. If you are concerned about injuries to be clear and tell the police when you call them. When they have more info on what happened, it will help them decide that they should get to the scene.
- The police may decide not to come if no one is injured.
- If there is a public emergency or disaster in another location, they may be too busy with that event, so they decide not to come.
It’s always a good idea to contact a car accident attorney (after you called the police). They will advise you and will later review your case, collect evidence and help you get your claim.
Contact Cellino Law for further info.
Content checked by the personal injury attorney Ross Cellino. As a family man and a trial attorney, I pride myself on winning cases and serving the community. With over 35 years of experience, I understand the function of a jury, how juries arrive at conclusions, and the role that the jury plays in administering justice. I know how to win cases. You can find us in Manhattan, Buffalo, Melville, Rochester, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens and other locations throughout New York.
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