Filing an insurance claim is one of the first things you must do after experiencing a car accident. Why? This step ensures that your auto insurance provider is aware of the details of your incident when they can be most easily recalled, due to the recency of the crash. Still, although your recollection may be in-depth, your word alone is not always enough. Having additional documentation such as a police report adds an irrefutable level of truth to your claim. This paperwork often plays a vital role in whether you receive the compensation you deserve.
Information Provided by a Police Report
Police reports are invaluable pieces of documentation that can often become a make-or-break element of your compensation claim according to DePaolo & Zadeikis. When you call an officer after a car accident, once they secure the scene of the crash, they will discuss the incident with each of the parties involved and collect the details of their recollection of the events. For each individual, they will objectively record their personal information, along with each of their actions and experiences leading up to and during the collision.
Why is this so critical? A police report is a third-party, neutral record of your accident. Instead of relying solely on potentially biased views from either yourself or the other driver, an insurance adjuster will be able to vet your claim with even greater accuracy due to the neutrality and detailed nature of the document provided by law enforcement. In addition to the written details of the accident, the officer will also record the following of your accident:
· Environmental conditions during the time of the crash
· Location of the incident
· Time and date of the accident
· Description of each driver (such details will reflect drowsiness, intoxication, etc.)
· Description of all vehicles involved
· Details of the road conditions (e.g., potholes, cracks, etc.)
· Photo evidence of the scene
Once they have recorded all this information, they will include their perspective in the report concerning which driver(s) were at fault for the crash. As you can now understand, this information is highly valuable. It can support your case in the truthful reflection of fault in your collision.
Why the Police Report is So Necessary
If ever you face a circumstance in which the negligent driver attempts to lie about their role in the crash or their presence at the scene of the accident, this police report will serve to strengthen your claim. This documentation may not be legally required by the court or your insurance adjuster. Some states only require police reports after a certain amount of damage has been incurred.
Still, in any case, it is highly recommended that you acquire this paperwork, as it will serve to significantly speed up the claims process since you will not have to struggle with the typical back-and-forth of a he-said, she-said situation with the at-fault driver. As well as a police report, it is critical that you have an experienced car accident lawyer on your side. They will know just how to utilize this vital information, along with evidence they gather themselves, to secure your compensation for recovery after your accident.