Do I need a police report after a car accident?

Getting into an accident can be a terribly stressful and shocking experience. The collision of two vehicles can be jarring for the drivers and their passengers. When two tons of metal collide, the speed of the vehicles make a big difference in the damage left behind. In some cases, the car takes the brunt of the accident. Sometimes, the people inside are injured. If you are involved in a minor accident with little damage to your car and no injury, do you need to file a police report?

Though a police report is not completely necessary, it does protect you. Even though you are fine and the damage to your car is minor, you need to document the accident. In the best circumstances, the parties will exchange insurance information, take pictures, and resolve the matter in a proper way. Other times, the other party could exploit the lack of police report. This could lead you to some unnecessary legal choices, including taking legal action to prove that the accident occurred, the other person was at fault, and that your injuries were a result of their negligence. For many in that situation, it often results in them deciding to walk away.

Filing a police report is important for a few reasons. It definitively documents the accident and establishes the percentage of fault for both drivers and any serious injuries resulting from said accident. A police report does not automatically affect your insurance. If you were to get a police report and not follow through with filing a claim, nothing should happen. If you don’t suffer from injuries right away, they may come back to haunt you at a different time. Without documentation through a police report, you may not have a solid case to recover damages.

So, though it is not the law, please get a police report if you are in an accident. It may take an extra few minutes out of your day, but it can save you a lot of heartache down the line.

The law firm of Mattleman, Weinroth & Miller, P.C., is composed of experienced attorneys throughout the state of New Jersey. Please contact the office for a free initial consultation and get any questions answered regarding criminal charges and procedures.