What happens after a car accident with no police report?
If you were hurt in an accident and did not report the accident to the police, you may ask yourself:
What happens if you don't call the police after an accident?
Please read on to learn more.
How long do I have to make a police report about my accident?
You only have 24 hours to report a vehicle accident to the California Highway Patrol or the police department of the city in which the accident occurred.
This is the rule whenever someone was hurt or killed in an vehicle accident.
If you were driving for a common carrier, like a bus or a taxi, this 24 hour period does not apply.
Common carriers must make their report the California Highway Patrol. And it must be made on or before the 10th day of the month, following the accident.
And, if you were supposed to report your accident to the San Jose Police Department but accidentally reported it to the Gilroy-Hollister CHP, you're still covered. The police where you reported the accident will send your report to the correct police department.
If a police officer came to the accident scene and investigated your accident, the officer will go ahead and file a police report. This means you yourself don't have to file another report.
What is the purpose of an accident report?
An accident police report is usually called a “Traffic Collision Report.” The purpose of a traffic collision report is to have an objective record of the accident, the damages and the injuries.
The police write out the accident report, and they don't have a dog in the fight. What the police write down has credibility with the insurance, but an insurance company often does their own, further investigation.
Is the police report the same as a Form SR1?
No. They're two different forms. The police report gets filed with the police. The DMV Form SR-1 gets filed with the DMV.
Will insurance cover an accident without a police report?
Yes, it can. But, accident claims without police reports are naturally more complicated.
Why? Because the insurance company may doubt your credibility, and question things like:
- Were you really in an accident with their client?
- Did your car really get damaged in the accident or afterward?
- Did you really get injured in the accident?
- Did you actually have the passengers you say you had in your car?
- Did the people you say are your witnesses actually witness your accident?
Can I file a car insurance injury claim without a police report?
If you don't have a police report, proving details of your accident, most importantly the date, time and location where you claim it happened can be difficult.
But, difficult does not mean it's impossible!
Can I sue someone for an accident without a police report?
Yes. But, suing for an accident without a police report can be more complicated because you won't have the testimony of a police officer who came to the scene, talked to people and saw how things looked right then and there.
Can an attorney file an accident report for me?
An attorney cannot report an accident for you because they're not a party to the accident. But, even without a police report, for the purpose of making an insurance claim for your injuries, a good attorney can still investigate your accident by doing their own investigation.
I'm Renee Yvonne Gardner, a personal injury attorney. Without a police report, I can still work to reconstruct the accident by using investigators and experts. Most accidents have a police report, but when there's not one, I can still fight for you.
Should I hire an attorney if I want to make an injury claim without a police report?
I'm Renée Yvonne Gardner, the attorney at Gardner Law, a San José personal injury law office.
If you don't have a police report, got hurt in the accident, and still want to make a claim, it's actually even more important for you to hire an attorney. The insurance may doubt your word. Please call me - don't call the insurance. I am here to help.
If you've been injured as a result of someone else's negligence or recklessness, always seek medical attention right away.
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