The moments immediately following an auto accident can be crucial. If you get seriously hurt, you should try to summon emergency responders for assistance. Still, even if you emerge from a collision with minor injuries, calling the police to come to the scene and write up a report may make the difference if you seek damages.
A police report is a public document, so it is available to many different parties. Forbes describes what you may expect from a police accident report and how it could assist you going forward.
A report can include accident details
After arriving, a police officer will assess the crash scene and write down the findings. The report may describe the state of the crashed vehicles, perhaps with a diagram. This could establish which driver was responsible for the collision. An accident report can also include statements from the drivers and passengers involved as well as any witnesses to the crash.
Insurers may read the report
The insurance company for the motorist and your personal insurer will likely want to read a copy of the police report. If you want to pursue compensation for your auto repair bills, a police report could support your claim that you were not at fault and protect you from counterclaims that you bore responsibility for the accident.
The report could help you in court
If a judge or jury has to decide whether you receive compensation, a police report may serve as evidence. Without it, you might have a harder time supporting your case or the other driver may be able to place unfair blame on you for what happened.
Keep in mind that a police report could work against you if you tell the police something that makes it seem you contributed to the accident. Be cautious of what you say, so a police report can help and not hinder your case.