Why The Police Report Isn’t Always As Important As You Might Think
Car accidents occur on a daily basis throughout Los Angeles. In fact, motor vehicle accidents are ranked third in the cause of unintentional injury and death in Los Angeles according to the California Department of Public Health. The aftermath of these accidents can cause a great deal of confusion in someone’s life. These types of situations are incredibly stressful, which can cause an individual to forget how to handle themselves. After an automobile accident occurs, you should be sure to:
- Not leave the scene and make sure you are far away from the main road.
- Call the police.
- If you need medical attention, reach out to emergency medical personnel.
- Write down any information you can about the scene and what caused the accident.
- Take pictures of the scene if you are able to do so.
- Seek out any witnesses who can help you build a legal case.
- Call your car insurance company to explain the accident.
- Call an automobile accident attorney.
After most serious car accidents, the police will arrive shortly after you contact them. They will file an official report and make sure the local office receives it. This documentation is a vital piece of evidence for car accident victims because it can directly affect their legal claims to compensation. Unfortunately, the police may not always file an official report. As a car accident victim, you still are able to file a legal claim against the at-fault party.
The Role of a Police Report
Many individuals are led to believe that a police report is required to file a legal claim for compensation. These reports are not a requirement and many people are surprised to learn that the official police report isn’t as important as they believed.
A police report is defined as a written record of what the police officer saw at the scene. It includes information about the time of the accident, the exact location of the accident, the officer’s description of the accident, and the individuals involved. A police officer is responsible for following department procedures when filing the report.
Typically, police reports are considered to be a strong piece of evidence in legal cases because they explain how the collision occurred, but the information represented in the police report may not always be accurate. Law enforcement officials can misinterpret how an accident happened or what aspects affected the accident. The majority of times police officers aren’t at the scene during the accident, so they have to recreate the accident to determine what happened.
If you do have access to a police report, the other party still has a chance to challenge it and introduce new evidence to support their side of what happened. Whether you have a police report or not, you can still file a claim for compensation. The attorneys at Los Angeles Injury Group can help you file a claim so you can receive the maximum amount of compensation.
Reasons Why There Might Not Be A Police Report
There are many reasons why police officers might not file a police report after your automobile accident. Some common reasons for not filing a claim are:
- No injuries– Sometimes if there are no injuries or extreme property damage due to an accident, police officers are not required to respond to the accident. When this happens, there is no police report filed.
- Bad weather– If an accident occurs while there is severe weather, this can limit the police officer’s ability to respond to the scene. Some police departments might be unable to put their police officers in harm’s way for an accident that is not a life-threatening emergency. Severe weather events such as tornadoes, fires, and hurricanes can make it difficult for officers to report to an accident scene.
- Police weren’t notified– In most jurisdictions it is illegal to leave the scene of an accident before the police arrive, but it does happen. Sometimes both parties involved in the accident fail to notify the police, so a police report is never filed. It is possible to seek compensation without the police report, but this type of situation will make your claim more difficult to pursue. The knowledgeable attorneys at Los Angeles Injury Group can help you explore different legal options.
- Lost Reports– It is possible for police reports to be misplaced. There are times where the report isn’t properly filed and then it becomes a lost file. The police officer might forget to file a report following an accident because they were busy or they were asked to work on another case before they had time to file the police report.
According to California personal injury law, if you have suffered an injury caused by the negligent actions of another individual, you are entitled to financial compensation for your damages. On the other hand, insurance companies will try to convince you that you don’t have a case because the police report is missing, and that is far from the truth. An experienced attorney at Los Angeles Injury Group can help you fight for your legal rights and the justice that you deserve.
Los Angeles Injury Group Personal Injury Attorney
Car accidents can be incredibly dangerous and create stress in an individual’s life. If you have been in a car accident in Los Angeles, consult with an attorney at Los Angeles Injury Group to explore your options, even if a police report was not filed. Protect your legal rights and let us help you along the way.
Our attorneys will fight for your legal rights to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. We are here to help you and want to determine the highest value of your claim. We understand that accidents can cause long-term effects on your life, so let us help you protect your rights as an accident victim.
The personal injury attorneys at Los Angeles Injury Group will handle your entire legal claim, which allows you to focus on your personal recovery. Consult with a personal injury attorney at Los Angeles Injury Group to see how we can assist you. Contact us at (310)-954-7248.