Police Report

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What is a Police Report?

You should always call the police after any vehicle accident, no matter how minor it may seem. Even if no one is seriously hurt, the police will respond to the scene. When the police arrive, they will write a police report or an incident report about what happened. This report is crucial evidence that will lay out the facts in your case.

Am I Required to Have a Police Report to File an Insurance Claim?

Whether you need a police report will vary based on your state and insurance company. In Georgia, you are required to call the police for an accident if:

  • People are injured
  • People are dead
  • There is property damage of more than $500

If you want to file a personal injury claim, you should have a police report for the accident. The only exception is for small claims for car repairs (like fender benders) that are expected to cost less than $500, but these are usually paid for out of pocket, not by insurance. 

Also, some insurance companies won’t approve your claim without a police report. Check if your insurance policy requires an accident report.

We recommend that after any car accident, no matter how small, you should always call the police. You’ll be glad you have the accident report if you notice any injuries later.

Does a Police Report Count as Evidence in My Car Accident Case?

Parts of police reports can’t be used in court because they are “hearsay” or statements made by people who didn’t see the accident happen. But most accident claims are settled out of court, and a police report will serve as valuable evidence.

Your lawyer will send a formal letter of complaint when you first file your claim. This is a letter to the insurance company explaining the accident, the damages you suffered, and the compensation you expect. 

Your lawyer will use the police report to shape the letter, and both sides will use the police report as a basic description of what happened. Any claims made in the police report could also be used to find more solid evidence, like contacting eyewitnesses. If you have a police report, it strengthens your case.

How Do I Get the Police Report for My Accident?

You can ask for it directly from the police department that came to your accident scene (typically the local police, sheriff, or state troopers). Or your accident lawyer can obtain the report for you.

What if I Didn't Call the Police? Can I Still File a Claim?

You should talk to a car accident lawyer about your case if you don’t call the police. You might still be able to make a claim, though it might be more challenging. An auto accident attorney will help you understand your legal options.

Contact the Auto Accident Lawyers at The Brown Firm

If you have been injured, the experienced personal injury attorneys at The Brown Firm offer free consultations to accident victims in Georgia and South Carolina. Call 800-529-1441 to speak with our personal injury team today!

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