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Injury Attorneys | Restoring LivesTM
Do you really need to report a car accident to the police?
The answer is yes.
No matter how minor the collision, filing a police car accident report is a good idea—it can save you money, time, and hassle. Police reports are valuable documents used when negotiating settlements with insurance companies, investigating the scene of the incident, and building a strong car accident case.
In some cases, it’s not just a best practice to file a car accident police report: It’s the law.
In Indiana, you must report any motor vehicle collisions involving injury, death, or entrapment of another person to law enforcement. Additionally, you are also required to report accidents where damage to property (other than the vehicles in the collision) occurs.
However, regardless of whether your crash falls under these circumstances, filing a police report is essential if you want to pursue legal action and get compensation for your damages.
Usually, police reports cannot be used as admissible evidence in a trial, but they provide a lot of useful information for your car accident attorney. They are often used to determine liability during insurance settlement negotiations, and they are a helpful starting point for car accident investigations.
The first step after any car accident is to call 911.
For serious crashes, such as when someone is injured or killed, property is damaged, traffic is blocked, the other driver is intoxicated, or there is debris on the road, law enforcement and any necessary emergency medical services will be dispatched to the accident scene. The police officer will write up an accident report for you.
For minor collisions, such as a fender bender, law enforcement may decline to respond to the accident scene. If a police officer does not investigate, no police report will be filed, so you should report the accident as soon as possible.
A police officer will likely record the following information in an accident report:
Make sure you write down the officer’s name and badge number so you can follow up if needed.
If law enforcement declines to come to the accident scene, file a police report after the fact. Gather as much evidence as possible to include in your report:
Go to the nearest police station to file your accident report.
When reporting a car accident to the police, either at the scene or after the fact, follow these guidelines:
Keep these tips in mind as you speak to law enforcement. An experienced car accident attorney can help you navigate similar conversations with insurance agents and other lawyers.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, contact the Indianapolis Car Accident Attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help you and your family fight for the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
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