Auto accidents constantly happen, whether you’re driving in a parking lot or on the freeway.
Insurance companies can increase rates for up to five years after an accident occurs, whether you were at fault or not. Filing car accident reports can help you protect your wallet since they can prove to insurance companies that you aren’t a risk.
If you’re not sure if you should file a police report, there are other benefits you should know about. Read below to discover all the reasons for filing a claim.
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They Provide General Details
One of the reasons police had to start writing car accident reports was to help insurance companies.
Insurance rates are influenced by a person’s risk on the road. Having a description of the accident helps insurance teams determine which drivers pose the greatest risks. Ideally, everyone involved in the incident will stay at the scene and tell the officer what happened, showing the cause of the incident.
The type of accident, such as a rear-end collision or hit-and-run, will be documented in these reports.
You Could Miss Your Claim Window
In certain states, you only have so long to file a report or insurance claim after an accident. For example, in AZ, you only have 24 hours to file the Arizona crash report if the accident caused injuries, death, or over $2,000 worth of damage to the drivers or vehicles involved.
Staying at the scene of the collision and filing a police report will help you qualify for compensation. If you miss your claim deadline, a personal injury claim will become invalid.
The reason people often miss their claim window is that they feel okay after an accident. Unfortunately, health and auto issues often appear days or weeks after an accident. Regardless of how you feel after the collision, file an accident report so you are prepared for the worst-case scenario.
Reports Remain on Your Record
Once a car accident claim is filed, your insurance company will keep the info on record for several years.
It’s important that when you create a report with the police, you are mindful of your words. Some people go into shock and have a hard time recollecting thoughts after they experience a traumatic event, such as an auto accident. Take a moment to write down or recall what happened and be honest when you talk to the police.
Saying the wrong thing to the police can impact your insurance rates and options. Pause before answering questions to make sure you know how to answer them since it could impact you in the long run. Inadvertently admitting guilt is a common problem for people that aren’t cautious.
They’re Required for Insurance Claims
If you’re hoping to get some money or help from your insurance company, you need a car accident report.
Insurance companies won’t accept claims unless they have documentation from the local police. They won’t work with you until they receive the accident details because they need to determine who is at fault, which can increase rates.
When a careless driver gets issued a ticket during an accident, it goes on the report. The impact of the accident goes far beyond the road, and you can expect higher premiums for coverage.
You Can Get Blanket Insurance Authorization
Depending on your insurance company, you may get blanket medical insurance authorization.
This means that insurance companies will get access to your medical records, which speeds up the claim process. The downside to this, however, is that insurance companies can get info that doesn’t pertain to the auto accident claim. You should check out these claim mistakes so you don’t make an error, an attorney can also help.
If your insurance company is requesting that you sign this waiver, but you aren’t comfortable with it, there’s a way to avoid it. Legal counsel can and should be present before you sign anything. They can prevent you from sharing unnecessary info with the insurance company, which will protect your rights and wallet.
Reports Show Causation
There’s nothing worse than driving down the road, only to get hit by an oncoming vehicle going the wrong way.
In cases such as this, it’s easy to identify the cause of the accident. Insurance companies look at the causation in police reports and if you don’t do anything wrong, they’ll help you get a new car or pay for repairs.
When you go to claim compensation in court, the causation on the police reports will influence your amount. It’s important to note that insurance adjusters will ask follow-up questions to ensure the accuracy of the record. Work with an attorney so you don’t inadvertently claim guilt.
The Reports Come from a Reliable Source
Relying on eyewitness testimonies has proven to fail, but police reports offer a different perspective.
Insurance companies want police reports when you file a claim, they act as another testimony. Since officers typically aren’t involved in an accident, they are unbiased and can provide a clear picture of what happened.
This source comes in handy if another vehicle were to hit you and then deflect the blame. Passengers from the party at fault could support the false narrative, but reports from the officers are more accurate than not.
Don’t Crash with Car Accident Reports
Waiting too long or admitting guilt while filing car accident reports can come with years of consequences.
You must tell the truth and carefully recall the accident when you file a report so insurance premiums don’t increase. Even if you’re partially to blame for the accident, filing a report can help you get compensation and maintain your insurance coverage. Without filing a claim, you could crash into the consequences years after the accident occurs.
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