In many car accident cases in Los Angeles County, people will often assume they don't need to file a police report, especially if they were involved in a minor car collision.
A quick exchange of information with the other driver may seem like the best option immediately after the accident. You didn't feel any injuries, and the damage to your car was minor.
You're already late for work and have a busy day planned. Therefore, you decide just to get some basic information and drive away from the accident scene.
You did not consider at that moment that not every injury gives symptoms immediately. It's widespread for someone to believe they did not sustain injuries in a car accident, only to start experiencing some pain later.
However, if you plan to seek some compensation, a police report can undoubtedly strengthen your claim.
If you file a police report that documents your physical condition, the task of obtaining the appropriate amount of compensation will be much easier. Therefore, to protect yourself, you should always file a police report.
The police report is typically your primary source of documenting your car accident case. Without it, your chances of recovering fair compensation for your damages are significantly reduced.
As stated above, most people believe a police report is just not necessary for a minor car accident, but this is simply not the truth. In fact, in many cases, it becomes more critical that a police report is filed for minor accidents that result in fewer damages than car accidents with more substantial injuries.
When you make that decision to seek compensation for injuries or property damage, your case will be much more robust with a copy of a filed police report. Los Angeles personal injury lawyers will always want a copy of the police report if you decide to pursue a lawsuit for compensation for injuries.
If you have sustained damages in a car accident due to the negligence of another party, you should consult with Injury Justice Law Firm LLP.
Our skilled personal injury lawyers will thoroughly evaluate the details and advise you with legal options. Since we have covered a basic overview of why it's essential to file a police report above, let's take a closer look at exactly why and how to file a police report.
Why Is A Police Report So Important?
In addition to providing an accurate account and impartial third-party documentation of your car accident, the police report is typically a very effective piece of evidence to support your claim.
Why? It's considered an unbiased report of the car collision, which is generally more valuable than your claim or the at-fault driver's story.
Additionally, a police report will be necessary for the insurance company involved in a claim if you decide to file a personal injury claim.
In simple terms, the police report will help support your claim in many different ways. It's critical to remember the police report represents the viewpoint of a police officer who has nothing to gain or lose by showing what happened in an auto accident.
Their report simply documents an objective view of several important car accident factors. These factors include:
- The exact location where the car accident occurred
- The time and date of the car accident
- Damages to all vehicles and property involved
- Any injuries to drivers, passengers, or others
- Statements from drivers involved in the car accident
- Statements and contact information from any witnesses
- Weather or other environmental conditions at the time of the accident
Having a police report with this type of substantial evidence for your car accident case can support your claim and significantly improve your chances of successfully obtaining compensation.
Remember, as a victim of another party's fault or negligence, you are legally entitled to recover damages. What if I am the at-fault driver?
Even if you caused the accident, it's still essential to have a police report available of the car accident. Why? Suppose the other driver attempts to make false claims about the accident or injuries. In that case, the police report can be valuable documentation to help you avoid paying the cost of fake damage.
This does happen, especially in Los Angles County car accident cases. Again, the police report will be considered more significant than the opinion of the other driver involved in the car accident. If your story is different from the other driver's story, the police report could be helpful to support your claim.
How to File a Police Report
After your car accident, you should immediately call the police. After they arrive, discuss the specific details of the accident with the police officer and answer their questions. The officer will also interview the other driver and any witnesses to determine the cause of the accident. Make sure you obtain a copy of their traffic collision report.
Depending on your accident's severity, police may not respond to the scene, especially if it's a minor accident with no reported injuries. If this happens, you should make a trip down to your local police station with 24 hours to file an accident report.
Why is this 24-hour time frame so important? First, it could impact your chances of recovering some damages from your injuries.
The accident report is documented evidence the other driver was at the scene and involved in the accident. It's not uncommon in Los Angeles County for at-fault drivers to deny they were even involved in a car accident. The police report is mandatory to recover damages if the other driver is uninsured and in cases of a hit-and-run accident.
Call an Attorney to Learn How We Can Help You
Suppose you have been injured in an auto accident due to another driver's negligence. In that case, you need to consult with a Los Angeles car accident lawyer at Injury Justice Law Firm LLP as soon as possible after the accident.
Our experienced attorneys will direct you in taking the following steps to make a personal injury claim. Get the damages you are entitled to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and damages to your vehicle.
A police report can help you win your case and is a critical first step in recovering from the accident. Contact our law office to evaluate the details and legal options. Call us at 310-734-7974.
Related Blog: Four Things to Do After a Car Accident