Those who have experienced a car accident are aware that many things need to be completed before an insurance claim can be filed. A crucial step that can sometimes be missed is remembering to obtain a copy of the police report that the officer filled out when he or she came to the accident.
The police report contains information that could make or break your claim, which is why it’s essential that you have a copy of it. It should be included in any insurance claim for a car accident.
If a police report isn’t filed, the claim might be denied, or the company could offer a lower amount for settlement. Your insurer will need every detail of what happened and all documents associated with the accident to give you the entire value of the claim.
Locating a Police Report After a Car Accident
Contact the nearby courthouse or police department as soon as you can, because it might take time to get a copy. A clerk can let you know if you need to come to the courthouse or police department to obtain a copy, and you should ask how much it might cost.
If neither of these places can provide you with the police report, contact the insurance company that you’re working with and ask if they already have it on file. They can send you a copy if you request it. Sometimes, the DMV will also receive a copy. If the claim is for an exceptionally high amount, it’s even more likely that all parties will have a copy of the police report.
What to Do Once You Have the Police Report
After you get a copy, you’ll need to look it over and see what it officially states. It might describe the events differently than you remember it, and if so, you’ll need to gather evidence to support your version of the story. If there is a mistake, it can still be corrected before the claim is finalized.
Those who need help understanding the report might want to consult with a car accident lawyer. “Find a car insurance attorney that will give you a free initial consultation, because you don’t want to get stuck with a lower settlement and expensive insurance coverage that you don’t deserve,” explained Jason Chalik, Plantation car accident lawyer.
What the Police Report Contains
In the police report, there will be both facts and opinions. The location, time, and date are facts, but the determinations of fault are the beliefs of the law enforcement official. Your insurer will make their own determination of fault as they gather evidence, and they can disagree with the police report if they decide to.
Hopefully, these tips helped you get a clear idea of where to start if you’re looking for the police report for a car collision that you were in. When in doubt do your research, request the report right away, and provide more documentation than you think you’ll need to increase the chance that you’ll receive a full settlement.