Suppose you’re driving down the block when someone gently bumps the rear of your vehicle, creating a traffic accident. Both of you exit your cars to inspect the damages, and it seems to be modest, with only minor scratches on each of the vehicles. Both of you shrug it off and dismiss it as a minor inconvenience. So both of you leave the scene. And you drive off, relieved because you avoided having to deal with insurance.
Unexpectedly, a patrol car comes to a halt in front of you. When you stop, the law enforcer arrests you for leaving an accident scene, which is a violation. Then you realize that you believed a total stranger who in turn reported you to the police for a hit and run. According to their report, all injuries and damages were entirely your responsibility.
Although this could be an uncommon occurrence, it could happen. In view of the potential risk of a personal injury lawsuit, there’s always a need to report any vehicle accidents you’re involved in to protect yourself. And here’s why you should:
You’re Required To Make A Report By Law
A record of the report that you make with the police is proof of abiding by the law; this is because it is standard for drivers in most states to promptly notify the local police whenever they’re part of a collision that causes damage, death, or injury via the fastest means possible.
A Police Report Will Conceive Cause And Effect
A further rationale to record the accident would be because an official police report may assist in establishing a correlation or connecting your accident with the damages you want to be compensated for by the insurance.
Suppose you don’t report your accident to the police to verify that the said collision happened (and that you sustained injuries at about the same time); the underwriter of your insurance may doubt the legitimacy of that claim.
Understand that insurance providers will seek just about any reason to doubt your claims so that it’s neither acknowledged nor settled. Don’t make it easy for the insurance firm to take advantage of that. Since dealing with insurance adjusters is a complicated process, hiring a competent attorney can be beneficial in the long run.
Accident Reports May Tell Who Is Liable
An official police report also may contain crucial information as to who authorities suspect was responsible for the accident and how they made the accident happen. You can use this report to strengthen your argument when making a claim.
Aside from determining responsibility findings, accident reports may cover details of the car damage, severe emergency injuries, location of the accident, time of the incident, witnesses’ names, among many others.
The police may also attach pictures of the crash site and details about who the courts asked to appear regarding the tragedy- an essential fault indicator. All these may be included in the report compiled by the authorities.
Reporting An Accident Saves You Lots Of Time
Whenever an accident takes place, a lot of processes may follow it. For example, you may be forced to deal with the authorities and insurance firms. At other times, your injuries may have warranted hospital admission. All these can prove to be overwhelming for an individual or their loved ones.
You can save a lot of time by promptly reporting accidents for you to focus on recovering mentally, emotionally, and physically. After that, you can resume your everyday life. Additionally, this will ensure that your claim is paid in due time and there are no time loss payments.
Accident Reports Preserve Historical References For Incidents
Whenever an accident happens, timely reporting be an essential way to keep historical evidence of the information. Facts get obscured with time, and memory of specifics fades. Therefore, having references in the form of a report can come in handy and provide more detailed specifics in the future, assuming that the claim takes time to resolve. In other circumstances, they become a baseline for making judgments and recommendations on what needs to be done.
A verbal agreement is meaningless in an accident scene. Only an official police report may count. Consider that your injuries may not immediately be visible. Still, they can become evident in a matter of days- this is common after accidents when you’re under adrenaline that dulls your perception of pain. The driver who caused the accident might deny having injured you if you don’t report it.