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5 Reasons to File a Police Report After a Car Crash in L.A. County

Posted on in Car Accidents

California car accident lawyerRight after a car crash, it may feel as if there are an overwhelming number of things you need to do. Seeking emergency medical care where needed is always the first priority, but much needs to happen after an accident. You will need to exchange information with the other driver, flag down witnesses, take pictures, and perhaps more importantly, file a police report. Calling the police from the accident scene and having them come take a report builds valuable evidence that can be used to prove your claim later. Your next step would be contacting an attorney. 

Why Should I File a Police Report After a Car Accident?

A police report creates an objective account of the accident from a neutral, third-party viewpoint. This valuable record can later be used as evidence to prove who and what caused the crash. It is critical that you do not skip this step. Reasons to file a police report after a crash include: 

  • Mandatory - If the accident caused injury or death, you are legally required to report it within 24 hours. For crashes that caused property damage over $1,000, you have ten days to report it. It is inadvisable to wait that long, however. If you can, call the police while you are still on the side of the road so they can observe the accident scene close to the time it happened. 

  • Reliability - Statements made by police officers are regarded as extremely reliable in court. Police officers are neutral, third-party observers with no motivation to blame one driver over another, so their account is unlikely to be successfully challenged. 

  • Preserve claim - You may not realize that you are injured immediately. Spinal and neck injuries related to whiplash may not start hurting until days after the accident. Some serious injuries are mistakenly attributed to mere soreness initially. Filing a police report right away can help preserve your claim in the event that you later realize you are hurt worse than you thought and will need compensation for medical expenses. 

  • Insurance - Many insurance companies require drivers to file a police report before they can be compensated for an accident. This is true whether you are dealing with the other driver’s insurance company or your own in the event of an uninsured driver. 

  • Evidence - Depending on the severity and nature of the crash, police may conduct their own investigation into what happened. 

Even if you are unsure whether you should file a claim, it is best to make a police report anyway. Doing so can create evidence that could later support your claim should you file one. 

Call an L.A. County Car Accident Attorney

If you were hurt in a car accident, file a police report, then consider contacting Tahmazian Law Firm, P.C. Our experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyers are dedicated to recovering compensation for victims injured by careless drivers. Call 818-242-8201 to arrange a free consultation. 

Source: 

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/driver-education-and-safety/educational-materials/fast-facts/vehicle-collisions-ffdl-16/

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