A police report is often, but not always, an important part of a personal injury claim. When you report an accident, the insurance adjuster will ask for the police report and may make their initial determination of who was at fault based primarily on the responding law enforcement officer’s report. But what happens if you don’t have one?
It is possible to be in an accident and for police to not respond to your accident. There could be a number of reasons that law enforcement could not respond. It could have been during a time of adverse weather when there are only enough resources for major injury accidents. Similarly, there could have been a major accident or incident where there were no available officers to respond.
Or more recently, due to COVID-19, police will often not respond to an accident unless major injuries are reported. This scenario was the case for many people in 2020 and 2021.
Whether or not police come to a crash scene, you should gather your own evidence and report the accident. Call 911 as this is an important record in itself.
Decades ago, many consumer organizations recommended keeping a disposable camera and notepad in your trunk or glove compartment
, for the purpose of taking notes and pictures after an accident. If you carry a cell phone — as almost everyone does — your cell phone can be an easy way to take videos, photos, and even voice memos describing what, where, how, why, and when — everything that happened. If you are injured and unable to take videos or photos, ask someone to help you. Your vehicle and the surrounding area can offer important evidence which will soon be gone when the vehicle is moved away from the crash scene. A 360-degree slow-moving video of the crash scene may provide important information during a later investigation.
You do not have to navigate the post-accident administrative tasks alone. As personal injury attorneys, we understand that for our clients, the aftermath of a car accident is overwhelming. It is so easy to unintentionally do or say something that does not benefit your claim. You may answer an insurance representative’s question honestly, without understanding how it will be used. It is not uncommon for adjusters to take seemingly insignificant comments out of context, such as a statement that you are feeling okay today.
If you promptly contact a skilled and experienced Ohio personal injury lawyer at GBM Law after an accident, we can help you to document your injuries, and get law enforcement all the information they need to compile a crash report. Your insurance — and the other party’s insurance — is going to want a police record of the accident. Although communications with police departments and insurance adjusters may seem like navigating uncharted waters, we are well-versed in everything that needs to be done, and in what order. You can focus on recovering and healing while we fight for your rights.
Along with getting the police report made, we can also help preserve evidence and footage from police body cams to truck dash cams and even nearby Ring doorbells. But this evidence can disappear quickly. It is absolutely critical you reach out to an attorney as soon as possible.
At GBM Law, we offer a free consultation to answer your questions and discuss your legal rights and options. There is no obligation and if we represent you, we are only paid if we recover money for you.