After a car accident, the first priority should be making sure that every person who was injured in the accident receives medical attention. The next step should be to make sure that the police are notified, as they should be called to the scene of an accident. At the latest, an accident should be reported to the police within 24 hours, and police should make a report about their investigation.
Having a police report is necessary for making a claim with an insurance company. Many defendants claim that they were somewhere else when an accident occurred. A police report can serve to back up a claimant’s story that the defendant was present at the scene of the accident during the time when the claimant says the accident occurred.
A police report is needed to make an underinsured/uninsured motorist’s claim. This is a type of claim a person injured in an accident can file with their own insurance if the at-fault driver fled the scene, did not have liability insurance or had insufficient insurance coverage. A police report should always be filed after a hit-and-run accident because it could become very important later when it is time to file an insurance claim.
Sometimes police refuse to make a report if you go to the police station to report the accident. The police may advise you to go to the state department of motor vehicles to fill out a form regarding the accident. This is not the same thing as a police report. You should always insist on a police report being filed after an accident.
Hit and run accident lawyers advise their clients to always make a police report and never rely on a witness to identify a vehicle. Bystanders often want to help by writing down information to help track down hit-and-run drivers, but this information is insufficient for filing a claim. Just writing down a driver’s information is not enough without a police report. If the driver denies being involved in the accident, the lack of a police report can make it very difficult to recover damages.
If you have been a victim of a hit and run accident in California, contact a hit and run lawyer in Los Angeles about filing a claim. Even if the at-fault driver fled the scene or had no insurance, a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles can help you find out if you have coverage for property damage and injuries on your own insurance policy.