Car Accident Claim without a Police Report
Yes, you can apply for a car accident claim without a police report by using additional evidence to illustrate what happened. You are not out of luck if you suffered a car accident without having the police create a report of what happened. Medical records, witness statements, and photos can support your case instead.
If your crash didn’t involve a police report, our Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers can help you with the claims process by investigating and compiling evidence of another party’s negligence. Get a personalized case evaluation today when you call (954) 633-8270.
What Role Does a Police Report Play in a Car Accident Claim?
Police accident reports can provide information like:
- Location, time, and parties involved in the accident
- Vehicle information
- Driver contact information
- Circumstances of the accident
- Weather and traffic conditions
- Witness statements
- Citations for at-fault parties
These reports are sometimes quite detailed, even recording facts like the angle of impact and contributing factors such as construction or wildlife.
Naturally, this information is useful in putting together an insurance claim and fighting for appropriate compensation. As a victim, you may have trouble remembering everything. Having a trained third party provide a report can help piece together what happened.
Police Reports Are Just One Facet of a Car Accident Case
Although police reports are often helpful, our team can procure the information they provide from other avenues. For instance, witnesses can help verify the circumstances and weather or traffic conditions. Traffic cameras can provide the exact time and date of the crash. Photos from the scene can show the angle of impact.
Moreover, police reports are still documents created by one person—a person who is fallible. Officers inevitably bring subjectivity to their reports, so they do not have the final word in car accident cases. A police report is just one way of gathering information.
Other Evidence Used in Car Accident Claims
Insurance claims and lawsuits are not based on one piece of evidence. Instead, investigations reveal a collection of evidence that is used to build a comprehensive narrative of what occurred.
Just as police reports offer a subjective viewpoint, so do witnesses. Your own view of the crash will differ from the other driver’s account. Even video footage only shows a crash from one angle. You need a variety of evidence to bolster your account of what happened.
When pursuing a car accident claim without a police report, you could illustrate the other driver’s liability through evidence like:
- Bystander statements
- Photos and video proof
- Medical records
- Diagnostic and treatment notes
- Accident reconstruction
- Debris analysis
- Phone and social media records
- Dashboard cameras
For example, a medical specialist can assess your condition and help illustrate that your injuries are consistent with a certain type of crash. Debris analysis, as well as details in the photos, can help reconstruct the accident.
Some accidents hinge on specific evidence. Take distracted driving—if the other driver was posting on social media, a legal team can review their profiles to show they were online at the time of the crash. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), if they were driving at 55 mph, they could have traveled the distance of a football field without seeing you, which is a clear example of negligence.
Expert Testimony Can Also Lend Authority in a Car Accident Case
Police reports can seem authoritative in an insurance claim, but other experts can lend credence to your claim, such as:
- Automotive experts
- Accident analysts
Experts are also instrumental in demonstrating what damages you deserve. For example, economists and actuaries can testify regarding lost income and future financial consequences of your injuries.
There May Be Local Laws on Reporting Car Accidents to the Police
While you can file a car accident claim without a police report, make sure you are aware of the laws for reporting crashes. Some states require you to notify the police if an accident caused injuries or a certain dollar amount in damages.
For example, according to Florida Statutes § 316.065, you must notify the police if a crash caused injury, death, or at least $500 in property damage. Failure to do so is a traffic infraction.
Insurers may also not look kindly on failure to report an accident to the police. They may assume you are exaggerating your injuries and losses or are hiding information. If necessary, report a crash to protect yourself from from losing out on compensation from a claim.
Our Attorneys Can Help You Apply for a Car Accident Claim Without a Police Report
If you are unsure about the car accident claim filing process or are facing hassles from an insurer because your case did not have an accident report, contact the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato. Our Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer can help you compile other evidence of your losses and represent you in interactions with adjusters. Never assume you are out of luck for a car accident claim without a police report. Call us today at (954) 633-8270.