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Do You Need a Police Report for a Car Accident?

Cohen & Cohen, P.C.

Do You Need a Police Report for a Car Accident?

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If you’ve never been involved in a car accident, you should consider yourself lucky. A car accident can be a scary and life-changing event, and it’s important to understand the necessary steps you should take immediately following an accident. If you are involved in an accident at some point in your life, it’s best to be prepared. Here is an overview of police reports and why it’s important to obtain one if you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident.

According to the Law

In accordance with the law, each state has their own specific rules as to whether or not an accident report should be filed. Most states base the answer to that question based upon the estimated value of property damage. But we believe that you should get a police report regardless of the amount of damage your vehicle as sustained, as explained below.

Do You Need to File a Report?

Let’s say for example that you’ve been in an accident, but the damage was very minor and there were no injuries sustained. The exchange of insurance between the parties involved was cordial, everyone was friendly, and there was no finger pointing. However, what if one of the parties goes home and thinks about what happened earlier?

  • Without any documentation to actually outline the events that led up to the accident, everyone’s story can completely change a few hours later.
  • Also, injuries can take awhile to creep up on someone. So, you could be feeling perfectly fine today, but 12 hours later be sore all over.
  • A police report documents the accident so that certain injuries that someone may be complaining about could be corroborated with a police report.

Insurance Claims

In most, if not all cases, you’ll need to file a police report to file a claim with your insurance company. This will likely speed up the claims process as the insurance adjuster won’t have to take time out to try and determine how the accident happened, as the police report will fully document that information.

Private Property

Most states don’t require that police reports be filed for accidents that occur on private property. But what if someone backs a car into your driveway and hits your garage door? Won’t you want a police report to document what happened so you can provide that information to your insurance company? Unfortunately, most police departments will not file a police report for any accident that happens on private property, so it’s best to make sure you write down everything and take photographs to document the damage.

There are many good reasons to have a police report after a car accident. It will help you obtain the compensation you deserve as the result of injuries sustained in the accident. It will also be there to help defend you in the event you’re falsely blamed for being at fault for a car accident. For more information about police reports and to discuss your personal injury case, be sure to consult with a car accident lawyer Minneapolis MN relies on.


Thanks to our friends and contributors from Johnston | Martineau PLLP for their insight into car accident cases.