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I Didn’t Get a Police Report. Can I Still File an Insurance Claim?

November 2, 2023

Whenever you’re involved in a car accident, it’s always good practice to contact the police while you’re still at the scene. However, we also understand that, in the shock of the moment, people sometimes skip this step. Perhaps you were in a hurry and the damage to your vehicle (and yourself) seemed minimal. Or maybe you did call the police, but they declined to send an officer.

But now, you’ve determined that your vehicle damage or injuries are more severe than you thought at first. Are you out of luck?

While a police report is not always strictly necessary, it can carry a lot of weight for determining liability. A police report is a credible, objective piece of evidence for car crash claims. Without it, you may struggle to put together a convincing claim unless you are able to compile sufficient evidence from other sources.

A car accident attorney who has experience with collecting evidence in car accident cases can help you with an insurance claim or lawsuit. Karl Truman Law can help you uncover the truth about your car accident, and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.

You May Still Have Time to File an Accident Report

Legally, you are obligated to file a police report for your accident if a death or an injury occurs. However, if no one gets hurt, do you still have to call the police?

In Indiana, you are required to file an immediate report if there is more than $750 worth of damage. These days, if you have anything more than a broken taillight, you’ve probably got more than $750 in damage. Car parts are expensive!

In Kentucky, you are required to file a police report if there is more than $500 worth of damage. However, you have 10 days to file. If you didn’t talk to the police after your minor accident, you may still have time to report the property damage.

If you are within the 10-day window, it’s best to get a police report. If you try to submit a car accident claim without a police report, it is less likely to be accepted and may take much more time.

RELATED: What Is a Reasonable Settlement Offer for My Car Accident Claim?

6 Tips for Showing the Other Driver Was At Fault for the Car Accident

A cell phone being used to photograph the scene of an accident

If you are trying to successfully argue a no-police-report insurance claim, you’re going to have to work for it. Most insurance claims look to the police report to determine liability, so without it, you will need to provide as much evidence as you can to show that the other driver was at fault for the auto accident.

Unfortunately, evidence tends to be harder to find the longer you wait. Memories fade, surveillance footage gets overwritten, and life goes on. With that in mind, you should always take these steps as soon as an accident occurs, even if you don’t think you need a police report:

  • Take photos or videos of the accident scene: Include the damage to both vehicles, license plates, skid marks and anything else that looks important.
  • Get contact information for any witnesses: If there are any third-party witnesses, their witness statements could be crucial to your case. Someone may even have a dash cam that captured your car accident.
  • Note any security cameras or traffic cameras: They may have captured the car accident. That footage will be extremely valuable, but keep in mind that most businesses delete security camera footage regularly—often monthly, or sometimes even weekly.
  • Write down everything that happened: To the best of your memory, write down a complete description of how the car accident occurred. Include the time of day and weather, in case they become relevant.
  • Keep good medical records: For an automobile accident with minor damage, it may take some time for injuries like whiplash to show up. If you incur any medical expenses after the accident, keep good records and follow your doctor’s treatment plan. This will benefit you if you later decide to pursue a personal injury claim.
  • Consult a personal injury law firm about your claim: A personal injury lawyer will have  experience with accident recreation and expert testimonies that can help build your case without a police report.

Again, it’s always ideal to request a police officer to come to the scene. However, even if you contact the authorities, they may not send a police officer to investigate a minor collision or an accident that takes place on private property, such as a parking lot accident.

If you can prove liability, the insurance company should still compensate you for your damages even though you have to make a claim without a police report. An accident report is helpful if you’d like to seek compensation for property damage, but it is only one piece of evidence.

RELATED: Are Parking Lot Accidents Always 50-50 in Kentucky or Indiana?

An Experienced Attorney Can Help You Gather Additional Evidence

One of the best ways to protect your legal rights after a car accident, whether you have a police report or not, is to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Car accidents are stressful and difficult, even if it is just a “minor” car accident. The claims process is complicated and tough unless you have the right experience.

A personal injury attorney will have knowledge, tools, and connections that can make an enormous difference in your car accident case. We can get to work obtaining and analyzing any video footage, collecting medical records and critical documents, and recruiting the right experts to help. For example, we work with crash reconstruction experts who can use photos and evidence collected at the scene to piece together what really happened—and why.

But remember that evidence doesn’t last forever. That’s why it’s so important to reach out sooner rather than later.

Call Karl Truman to Help With Your Accident Claim

While police reports provide a respected piece of evidence about the vehicles involved, not all car crashes require that kind of investigation. However, if an insurance provider denies your claim, it’s time to call for help. The legal team at Karl Truman Law will fight for you. Even a minor crash can cause hardship, and insurance companies are known for doing anything they can to avoid paying out.

If you’ve been the victim of an accident, our trained and experienced team can help you obtain compensation for your car damage. It’s time to let the colonel take on the insurance company for you. For a free consultation, either call us at (502) 222-2222 or fill out our contact form.

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.