In an ideal world, you’ll call the police immediately after your car accident. The police will come to the scene and write up a report of what happened. You’ll use this report to support your insurance claim.
The problem is that you won’t always have a police report. Or, your police report won’t have all the information you need to file your insurance claim. If the other driver leaves the scene, you won’t have his license and insurance information. Or, if your car is hit while it’s parked outside your house, you may not have all the information usually included in a police report.
Most insurance companies are going to require a police report when you file your insurance claim. They can reference this report when validating exactly what happened. It also helps them identify all the parties involved. If liability can be pushed off on another driver, the insurance company wants to know this.
So, what do you do when you have no police report? Can you still file an insurance claim? This is when it comes in handy to call an experienced car accident lawyer in Atlanta.
Your Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer Won’t Need a Police Report to File Your Insurance Claim
Although you do need to report most car accidents to the police, you don’t necessarily need a police report to file your insurance claim. Most insurance companies only require a police report if you claim certain types of damages.
The problem is that you may need to demand special damages if you file an insurance claim. For example, let’s say that at the time of the accident, you’re towing your boat. You’re obeying every traffic law. You are in no way responsible for your accident.
A drunk driver comes along and smashes into your car. This causes you to crash your car. Your boat also gets shot across the highway, getting demolished in the process. You’re going to want to be compensated for the damage to your boat.
Without a police report, you won’t be able to prove liability. This is why it’s a good idea to always call the police in case of a car accident.
Georgia Law Does Require a Police Report in Most Cases
Whether or not you file a police report isn’t based just on whether you need one for insurance purposes. Under Georgia law, you’re required to file a police report in an accident where the following occurs:
- Any property damage greater than $500
- Any death or bodily injury
So, you’re probably going to have to file a police report anyway. It’s always in your best interest to do so.
After an accident, people are shaken up. They really don’t know if they’re injured or not. They just know that they’re scared and more than a little frustrated. If the other driver suggests you just exchange insurance information, you may be tempted to agree. Never do this.
Even if the vehicle damage is minor, you need to call the police. There are too many good reasons to do so, including:
- The police report contains very valuable information you may need later on
- The other driver could be drunk or under the influence of drugs
- The other driver could be uninsured or not have a valid license
- Witnesses are more willing to talk to police as opposed to virtual strangers
- The other driver may make a damaging statement to the police
- It serves as excellent proof in your insurance claim
No matter how hard the other driver tries to convince you not to call the police, don’t succumb. It’s too important that your accident be accurately reported. And, since you need to report it anyway, kill two birds with one stone.
How Failing to Call the Police Can Affect Your Injury Claim
Take our word – while filing an insurance claim in Georgia without a police report is possible, the better practice is to do so ALWAYS. It makes winning your case easier and hassle-free.
Without one, you will have to work much harder to prove that the other driver was at-fault for causing the accident. Your word will be pitted against theirs, and if there are no other witnesses, then it may come down to a game of he-said, she-said.
This means spending more time and money on gathering evidence to support your claim, and even then, there’s no guarantee that the insurance company will take your word for it. The bottom line is: Make life easier, and call the police right away.
Steps to Take When Pursuing a Personal Injury Claim Without a Police Report
In case you do find yourself in a situation where you need to file an insurance claim without a police report, there are specific steps you can take to increase your chances of being fairly compensated:
- Immediately take pictures of the accident scene, damage to all vehicles involved, and any visible injuries.
- Gather as much evidence as possible. This may include photos of the accident scene, photos of your injuries, medical records, witness statements, and anything else that can help prove your case.
- Collect the contact information of any witnesses to the accident.
- See a doctor as soon as possible, even if you don’t think you’ve been injured. Some injuries, such as whiplash, may not be immediately apparent. A medical professional can document your injuries and connect them to the accident.
- Keep a detailed record of all medical expenses, treatment, missed work, and other accident-related losses.
- Be prepared to negotiate with the insurance company. Insurance adjusters are trained to lowball injury victims who don’t have an attorney. If you’re uncomfortable negotiating or the insurance company isn’t cooperating, consider hiring a car accident lawyer to help you with your claim.
- Stick to the facts. Avoid speculating about the accident or apologizing for anything when you talk to the insurance adjuster or anyone else.
- Don’t give a recorded statement. The insurance company will likely try to get you to provide a recorded statement, but you are not obligated to do so. In fact, it’s usually not a good idea. The insurance adjuster will use your statement against you, so it’s best to say no.
Accidents happen, but that doesn’t mean you should have to pay for someone else’s mistakes. If you’ve been injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, call an auto accident lawyer in Georgia right away.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, you should contact a car accident lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia. Your insurance claim could be denied. You have no idea whether it’ll be approved or not. It could be denied for any of the following reasons:
- The other driver did not have a valid license
- The insurance policy wasn’t valid or had lapsed for non-payment
- The driver wasn’t listed on the policy
- The insurance company believes you were at fault
- They don’t believe your injuries were legitimate
If this happens, you’re going to want an experienced auto accident lawyer to appeal your insurance claim.
Work With Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys in Georgia
The experienced personal injury attorneys at The Weinstein Firm have been representing the victims of car accidents for years. We know how to deal with and negotiate with insurance companies, and we’re not afraid to take your case to court if that’s what it takes to get you the compensation you deserve.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you don’t have to deal with the insurance company on your own. Let us help you.
Call and schedule your free initial consultation with our seasoned car accident lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia. He can answer any questions you may have and let you know what your case may be worth.