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Are Police Reports Necessary for a Car Accident Claim?

One of the best sources of liability and evidence after a car accident is a police report that details the crash. But is obtaining a police report a mandatory step in the process of filing a car accident claim? No, you do not need a police report to create a car accident claim or to file a lawsuit against the liable party. Police reports are very helpful, but they are not required.

If an insurance company tells you that they won’t take your claim until you have a police report, then it might be an incident of insurance bad faith. At that point, you should get an attorney involved with your case as soon as possible.

Police Reports are Common for Car Accidents

What you might not realize about your car accident is that there is a good chance there is already a police report created about it. If the police arrived at the scene of your crash, then the responding officer should have made a report and filed it within the next few days. You can contact their station or department to request a copy of their report, which could cost a small processing fee.

Most states require drivers to call the police after a car accident that causes an injury or sizeable vehicular damage. This law makes it uncommon for there to be an accident that doesn’t involve the police in some way. As such, many car accidents will have a related police report, even if you don’t file it yourself.

However, you shouldn’t rely on the police to create and file a car accident report for you. It still is prudent to head to the police station shortly after your accident to make the report yourself, or to check that one has been made by the responding officer. Again, police reports aren’t necessary, but they are really helpful because they firmly establish that your car accident did happen and can include key details that might be left out or forgotten if the report is never made.

If you need help after a car accident in Los Angeles, come to BD&J, PC. Our attorneys can assist you with all steps of a car accident claim or lawsuit, including the creation or use of a police report. Contact us online now to learn more.

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