You may still be able to file a claim without a police report, but the more important question is: do you want to do that?
Trying to recover compensation without a police report may be a lot more difficult, as the insurance company will be suspicious about your crash.
Below, our experienced law firm discusses when Indiana car crash victims may be required to file a police report, if insurers require one, and the benefits of these reports for crash victims.
After a car crash, victims should seek legal guidance from an experienced attorney who has a history of securing compensation. Our car accident attorneys in South Bend have decades of experience and charge no upfront fees.
Call our firm today for a free case review. (844) 678-1800
Filing a Claim Without a Police Report Can Be More Difficult
You might not be required to file a police report to obtain insurance compensation after a crash, but choosing not to file a report could make the legal process more difficult.
For one, the insurance company is more likely to be suspicious about whether the accident even happened. They may say you were injured because of something else and that you are trying to obtain compensation for an injury that is not covered by insurance.
The insurance company may be more likely to dispute your account of the crash because they cannot refer to the police report. While the police report is not the official account of what happened, it can confirm major details about what happened, such as when and where the crash occurred, and the parties involved.
The police report establishes that a crash happened, even though many of the other details need to be investigated, such as:
- Who had the right of way
- How fast both vehicles were traveling
- What both drivers were doing the moments before the collision
- And more
While it is true that police reports are inadmissible in court, they do carry some weight and may help speed up the legal process.
Do Insurance Companies Require a Police Report?
This is a better question than whether you should or should not file a police report. It is usually better to file a police report than not, but if the insurance company requires it, there is almost no reason not to file a report.
The answer to the question of whether insurance companies require police reports for accident claims depends on the terms of the policy in question. Most insurance policies do not require a police report for minor accidents. However, things may be different when severe injuries and property damages are involved.
It is best to err on the side of caution and call the police after a crash. Even if you think that it was a minor crash, you could be wrong. If you are, state law may require you to file a police report.
Your injuries could also be worse than you realize, and so could the damage to your vehicle. Without a police report, it may be harder to hold the other driver accountable because it is your word against his.
When Are Car Crash Victims Required to File a Police Report in Indiana?
In Indiana, it is required by law to notify the nearest law enforcement agency about any accidents that result in:
- Property damage that is worth more than $1,000
Additional times you must file a police report include if the city or your insurance company requires it.
Many car crashes result in more than $1,000 worth of damage and sometimes symptoms of injuries may take a few hours or days to appear. These are two good reasons you should never assume that you are not required to file a report for a crash you were involved in.
You also need to submit the Operator’s Proof of Insurance/Crash Report within 10 days of the crash. The purpose of this report is to verify that the drivers involved in the crash had the minimum required coverage at the time of the collision.
Can I File a Police Report Myself?
Sometimes the police do not come to the scene of the accident. This could be because they consider it to be a minor accident without serious injuries or property damage.
However, you must still report the accident to the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles within 10 days if there was an injury or more than $1,000 in property damage.
Gathering Evidence at the Scene
If possible, you should try to gather information at the scene to help you complete a police report later. For example, exchange contact information, insurance details, and driver’s license information with the other driver. You can also take pictures from the scene, write down what you remember about what happened, and take down witness statements.
Call Pfeifer, Morgan and Stesiak for Post-Crash Legal Help
If you have any questions after your car accident, it is best to seek legal counsel. Trying to navigate the complex legal system on your own is challenging.
Our car accident attorneys have extensive experience and are prepared to help you recover full and fair compensation. We are also prepared to take cases to court when necessary.
We do not charge any upfront costs. We only get paid after you receive compensation.
Call our office today to speak to one of our attorneys. (844) 678-1800