A police report after a car accident is often the only basis of authentic information on the accident. Therefore, this report becomes a critical tool in the hands of the insurer handling your claim and can potentially help you
with speedy processing of the claim itself. Apart from the insurance claim, this report also gains significant importance in determining your financial responsibility related to the accident. The following tips are designed to help you with filing a police report after a car accident:-
1. Never take chances
After all, it is a minor accident and nobody is hurt. A small damage to the car does not cost you much. Does this mean that you offer/accept an apology and keep moving? Perhaps not, and you are always better off filing a police report after a car accident regardless of what you think and feel about the accident. Remember that you could be caught unawares and a proper police report will come in very handy to protect your interests if such an eventuality arises.
2. Honesty is the best policy
The initial moments after a car accident can be overwhelming. May be, you were on the wrong side of things and you are tempted to keep some vital information away from the report. But, when you are filing a police report after a car accident, being down right honest is the best way to handle the situation. The damage and/or physical injury has been caused and you cannot reverse it. Let your insurer handle the financial part of the event and save yourself from further embarrassment and trouble. Remember that at a later date, if it gets established that you lied while filing a police report after a car accident, the consequences can be pretty uncomfortable. Accidents happen even with the most experienced drivers behind the wheels.
3. Skipping an insurance claim?
In some circumstances, you may decide to skip an insurance claim and settle with the other individual involved in the accident. But, this is not reason enough for not filing a police report after a car accident. The legal validity of a police report is the only protection you will have, if the other party turns around a few days later and decides to proceed against you. Understand that there are numerous instances when after thoughts have landed drivers into problems even after a settlement was reached.
4. What if you can’t file a police report after a car accident?
In some situations, you are just not able to file a police report immediately after the accident. Your location or inability to find a police officer on the spot can be among several reasons. The best way to tackle such a situation is making a very detailed report immediately. Make sure you have a couple of witnesses for your statement. Audio recording of the report is also valid and can be tendered as evidence when you file the police report at the earliest possible opportunity.
5. Police officer’s contact information
It is pretty natural that you have omitted some vital information relating to the accident while filing your police report after a car accident. It is important therefore, that you have the contact information of the police officer who is recording your report at the accident spot. Once you are back home and calmed down, you may recall the event more vividly. When you think that some more details need to go into the report, you can always call up the police officer and request him to add the details. This measure will provide you additional protection if a law suit follows the accident.
6. Talk only with the Police Officer
After an accident there is always a crowd that gathers around. But, this is where you need to hold your nerves and discuss the details of the accident only with the police officer /insurer. By allowing too many people to talk to you, you can easily lose focus or even make an admission of liability or fault. In your own interest you should guard against such an eventuality and avoid public discussion of the accident.
7. Speak to your insurer
Contact your insurer’s toll free number and ask for a representative to be available when you are filing a police report after a car accident. This will ensure that the police report carries all the essential information for processing your claim quickly.