Getting an accident report or filing a accident report after a car wreck is crucial. Many people have minor fender benders in parking lots and swap information with each other and call if a day. I had someone run into the back of me years ago and he wanted to just swap insurance info and i would not do it, i called the police. Was i being hard to deal with, i don’t think so. I did this because at the time i was investigator for a law firm and had seen many people get claims denied for swapping info and not having a police report. The other party did not call their insurance company as promised.
Better yet when you call there insurance company, nothing has been reported and the claim is denied. When you have a auto accident, you are not doing anything wrong by making sure the police come out and fill out a report. A lot of attorneys wont even touch a case that does not have a police report. You are not doing anyone any favors by not getting one, other than the at fault party. honestly is always the best policy and we like to think that everyone is as honest as we are, unfortunately that is not always the case.
Even with no injury and minimal property damage, you still should get an accident report. If you had only liability on your car and someone hit you, without a accident report who would pay for your car to be fixed, you would.
Issues that could arise if you don’t get an accident report at the scene of your car wreck
- You claim will be denied
- Your car will not get fixed
- No personal injury case
- No one will help you with medical care
- No attorney will take your case
Accident reports are extremely important for your protection. They will prove you were in a car wreck and list any passengers in the car with you at the time of the accident.
What if the information is wrong on my accident report when i pick it up?
Wrong person cited on Accident Report
(other party received citation, but you are listed as receiving the citation)
Please excuse the large pictures in this section.
Its not common, but in some instances you could be the driver listed that received the citation, even though the other party received it or had contributing factors.
Damage to Vehicle
Some times you could have moderate damage and the officer mark slight. Attorneys and adjusters look at this. Officers dont own bodyshops, in my opinion they are not qualified to tell if a vehicle has moderate, extensive or slight damage. However the are human and they will mark what they see, hidden damage is not seen
Passengers not listed on accident report
I have seen this happen to many people who had passengers in their car at the time of the accident. The passenger is injured, but they are not listed on the police report. You need to immediately call the entity that wrote of the accident report and speak with a supervisor and have the passenger changed. They will more than likely just amend the accident report to add the passengers. Do not wait, its like seeing the doctor, act fast so that the officer remembers the car wreck.
You have to look hard on the accident report for contributing factors. They are generally found under the drivers information towards the bottom of the police report. Contributing Factors tell who contributed to causing the accident.
Make sure You get the names and numbers of any witness’s at the scene of an accident. Do not rely on the police to get them. Any wittiness would be listed under the witness section. If you do not see the name of any witness’s, this could be a huge problem.
The narrative gives a brief description how the accident occurred. The officers can get this wrong by referring the vehicles by the wrong number. Make sure the narrative is correct and the number of your car corresponds with your driver number.
The same apply s with the diagram, the officer could get the numbers referring to vehicles backwards, make sure the numbers and your vehicle are correct in the drawing.
What you should if you see something wrong on your accident report
The best thing to do is to make sure that you have everything at the scene of the accident before the officer leaves. Any witness info or numbers, passengers etc. I cant tell you the number of times i have actually seen clients who could not tell me who was driving the car they were riding in, or vise versa, the driver can not tell me who his passengers are. If you see mistakes on an accident report, the ones we have covered above are very crucial to get fixed.
You can try and call the officer that wrote up the police report, his name will be at the top. You can try and call the officer who signed off on the police report as well. The sooner the better. If you wait to long, you wont get it changed or amended. Its important to get a copy of your accident report as soon as its available and check it over and look for mistakes. If you don’t know, ask. If you do decide to pursue an injury claim, the insurance comapny will pick the police report apart, if anything is not correct it could cost you.