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Can You File a Car Accident Without a Police Report?

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When you are involved in a minor accident, you can either let it go or call the police so that you can get a report? But if you let it go without a police report, how will you prove to the insurance company who is at fault?  Or can you file a car accident without a police report?

Yes, the lack of a police report does not stop you from filing a car accident. However, if you are filing a lawsuit or an insurance claim, you might find it challenging to prove who is at fault without a police report.

What a Police Report Does

A police report is an official account of the incident. And even though the police officer was not there when the event happened, the official will use the on-site evidence. Some of the observations are the vehicles’ positions on the way, the time of the accident, lengths of skid marks, the location of the accident, and any other essential evidence.

young people and police officer at scene of car crash

This does not mean the officers conclude with just their observations. The report will include any witness statements and fault claims by either party.

So, a police report will include the officer’s report via observation, the witness’ statement, the ticket issued to any of the drivers, and any other essential information.

However, if it is a minor accident, you might not get a police report. Many police officers don’t go to accident scenes when there are no injuries. Or a party can tell the other not to report after claiming fault. But this can be a mistake if the other party changes the story.

No matter the reason, not getting a police report is not advised, as you might later require the report.

What to Do without a Police Report

Even if you decide not to get a  police report, ensure you get enough evidence if it is needed later. Take lots of photos from different angles and make videos of the accident scene. Then note down the time, date, and exact location of the accident.

Afterward, get the information of the other party, the individual’s identification, and contact information.

You can easily file a claim without a police report with all these.

Insurance claims without a Police Report

You can still make insurance claims without a police report. More so, if there are no injuries and each party sustains only minor damage, the insurance claim might not need a police report.

car Insurance on accident car

Reach out to the insurance company, give a report of the accident, and submit any evidence you have. The processing for your claim will begin, but without the police report, it might take longer than it will it.

Filing Accidents with or without Police Report

If you have a police report, it might not be enough to sue a party for damage in cases of car accidents. However, some small claim courts permit you to use the police report as evidence. It will not hurt if you have other forms of evidence like photos, videos, and contact information of witnesses.

If you cannot get evidence at the spot, check your car dash cam for proof.

So, to sue a party for a car accident case, know your state laws, ensure you are still within the statute of limitations, gather forms of evidence, and get an attorney.

Statute of limitations

After an accident, there is a timeframe limit to file a lawsuit before it becomes null. The statute of limitations can be a couple of years or more, depending on the state. And considering the degree of damage, there might be exceptions to the rule.

Also, the police report has nothing to do with the statute of limitations. Whether or not you have the police report, you still have to file the lawsuits within the timeframe. A police report can help in that it has a record of the date of the accident, other pieces of information can be more helpful.

Things You Can Do In Cases of Car Accidents

Deciding to make insurance claims or sue the other party is not the best option when car accidents occur; here are some alternatives to consider.

Car Accidents

Determining Who Is at Fault

If you do not determine fault and do not get a police report for some reason or the other, it might turn on you. If there is no counter-evidence, the other party can change the story and sue you for damages, which you might have to pay.

So, ensure you determine fault and gather evidence if you do not get a police report.

Pay for Damages

If the damage fee is below $2000, you should consider paying for the damages. Paying for your injuries will keep your insurance premium from increasing.

Also, you will be able to choose your repair shop without paying extra.

Seek Legal Help

If you do not know the next step to take, you can call on your legal adviser to give you a second opinion. The legal adviser can help you with the other party and the insurance company.

Even in cases when you do not have a police report and you want to file a lawsuit, the legal adviser knows how to go around it.

Filing a Claim

You can file for an insurance claim if you have a clean driving record. However, if you have a bad history of multiple accidents in 3 years, you should reconsider filing a case, especially if it involves minor damage.

If you have a terrible record, the insurance company can increase your rate or cancel your policy. So, weigh the pros and cons and decide. Of course, you can ask about cancellation conditions before making the decision.

Conclusion

Filing a car accident report without a police claim is possible. Though, if it is a  minor accident, you can replace the damaged car parts and move on. But ensure you have evidence on your phone and get the other party’s contact. A legal adviser will also come in handy in case of any unseen consequences.

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