Sometimes in the chaos of a car accident, calling for a police report to be filed is forgotten. The parties involved in a crash may think that a police report is unnecessary, a decision they may wish they could change later. It is recommended that in any car accident, a police report be filed to protect all the parties involved.
The Texas Department of Transportation always recommends calling the police for accidents that involve: (1) an injury or fatality; (2) vehicles that cannot move; (3) a driver suspected of being intoxicated; (4) a driver having no insurance; or (5) a driver who leaves the scene without providing the necessary information. Police reports can provide evidence and credibility if there is a dispute of liability for the accident.
There are some things an individual can do if they fail to get a police report at the time of the accident. Individuals have ten days from the date of the accident to file a Crash Report if they choose not to do so at the scene. If the drivers decide not to file a police report, they should be sure to take good photos of any damage and the location of the accident. Furthermore, they should get the contact information of anyone involved in the accident and witnesses.
Following the accident, individuals should seek medical care if necessary, and inform their insurance company of the accident. If there are medical costs, economic, or noneconomic damages, an individual may need to hire an attorney. While not having a police report can make things more difficult, having all the information of the parties involved in the accident can be a big help.
A claim is not barred just because no crash report exists. You should contact your insurance and provide them all of the information you have on the accident. This includes the circumstances of the crash, all parties’ names and contact details, and information on any witnesses that you may have. In a contested case, liability may be proven through surveillance or traffic cameras, property damage, and accident scene recreation.
In conclusion, while a police report does make motor vehicle accidents easier to resolve, claims are not barred just because no police report exists. A good personal injury attorney can resolve issues of liability even without a police report.