You should never avoid filing a police report when you get in a car accident, no matter how small the incident may seem. Some people also avoid filing police reports because they either do not want to deal with the police, or they are worried that it will affect their insurance rates. The fact is, it is one of the best ways to make sure that you are protected. Certain insurance companies will deny there was even an accident if there is no police report to confirm it. Here are some things to know about filing a police report after an accident.
In Nevada, for several years the police were not responding to crashes where there were no injuries. You had a specified time frame to report an accident either online or in person. Now, much like in Arizona, the police are required to respond to an accident if they are called. That means that you must stay on the scene and provide information to the police immediately. The police must then file their report within 24 hours.
Injury and Trauma
Being involved in a car accident can leave you shaken up or even seriously injured. It may feel daunting to talk to the police, and it can be even worse when you are not in your best condition. The police are specially trained to spot and work with people who may not be able to answer questions coherently. They will work with a 3rd party or help you answer questions at your pace and comfort. You do not have to be nervous. Tell them exactly what you remember and provide any details you can. You can always add further details after, but make sure you are as thorough as possible.
What if the Police Don’t Come?
There may be certain situations where a police officer does not arrive on the scene. This could be because there are too many other issues happening, or even some sort of disaster. Make sure when you call to mention that there are injuries, if anyone is hurt. However, if no police officer is coming, make sure you note some details so that you can report them later on. Make sure to note the damage to the vehicles, note any small injuries you might have, and talk to any potential witnesses who might have seen what happened. Get their names and contact information in case the police want to follow-up with them. You can then provide all of that information to the police as soon as possible to file a report. All of this information will be necessary to help determine who is at fault for the accident, and who might be liable.
What Will the Police Do When They Come?
The police will place their first focus on helping the injured and making the situation as safe as possible. That might mean moving someone out of harm’s way or providing critical first aid. They may even call in for other emergency services to help with certain things, such as downed power lines or if there are too many injuries to manage. Once things are safe and secure, they will start to ask you and anyone else involved questions about the accident. Police are well-trained to spot people who are being dishonest. Since they are so experienced with accident scenes, they can also tell when what they are being told does not match with what they see at the scene. Always tell the truth.
Contacting the Officer Who Filed the Report
You might be injured or shaken up immediately after the accident. In that case, there’s a chance you may have missed providing certain details, or even forgotten them altogether in the heat of the moment. You can always call the officer who is involved if you have gotten their card or contact details. Call them as soon as possible to provide the new information, preferably within 24 hours. That is how long the officer has to file the report, and you want to try to give them that information before then.
It’s important to remember that the police are there to help. It might be your instinct to avoid contacting them, but if you require compensation for injuries or pain and suffering from an accident, the police need to be involved. If you’ve been in an accident, call the Powerhouse Injury Attorneys at (702) 444-2222 in Las Vegas or (602) 265-5555 in Phoenix, for a free consultation and to discuss how to protect your rights.