When you are in a car accident, it’s hard to think clearly. Your immediate concerns may be to determine whether you sustained any injuries, assess damage to your car, and exchange information with the other driver. And if you don’t feel immediate pain, you may simply get the other driver’s insurance information and be on your way. But what if you wake up the next day with severe back pain from the accident? Since you never involved the police, can you file an insurance claim without a police report?
Do You Need a Police Report to File a Claim?
The short answer is no — you still can file a personal injury claim without a police report. However, without an official report of the accident, you’ll need to do a great deal more work in proving your claim. In addition, the compensation that you may receive for your medical expenses might be delayed or even reduced.
Why does it help to have a police report? Well, in any any legal case involving an auto accident, a police report provides key evidence — an objective, third-party account of the collision. It usually contains immediate details of the scene and damages after the crash, as well as takes into account the points of view all involved parties.
Without a police report, you’ll need to come up with other evidence that supports your claim.
How to File an Insurance Claim Without a Police Report
First off, write down every detail of the accident that a typical police report would contain, such as:
- Date, time, and location of the accident;
- Detailed account of the weather and road conditions during the accident;
- Details about all the vehicles involved in the crash.
You may also want to obtain photos of the accident scene as well as any vehicle damage. Statements from eyewitnesses or others who were involved in the crash can also be helpful.
If you suffered only minor bruises and scrapes, and are mainly seeking compensation for damages to your vehicle, you may be able to negotiate with the insurance company directly. These types of damage claims are faster and a little easier to obtain.
However, if you’ve suffered significant injuries, you should consult with an experienced San Antonio car accident attorney.
Why You Need a Car Accident Attorney
Insurance companies rarely, if ever, willingly pay out on claims, even if the injuries involved are catastrophic. They may employ a number of tactics in order to avoid paying you what your claim is worth. That’s why it’s crucial to have an experienced injury lawyer by your side.
If the insurance company will not fairly compensate you for damages, your attorney may recommend that you file a personal injury lawsuit. This is especially true if your injuries are significant and you have no police report. The insurance company may use the absence of a report as a reason to delay acting on your claim. You attorney can help ensure that your claim is resolved efficiently and that you fight for your right to compensation.
Without an Attorney, You May Be Out of Luck
The insurance company may refuse to negotiate your claim, properly investigate it, or deny it without explanation. Or, if they do make a settlement offer, it will more than likely be much lower than what your claim is actually worth.
Without a police report and without an accident attorney, you could very well lose out on the chance to receive the compensation you deserve.
Speak to an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer Today
So can you file an insurance claim without a police report? Yes — but it’s in your best interests to have the help of an experienced San Antonio car accident attorney. Contact Brylak Law today to learn more about how we can help you maximize your car accident settlement.