Do I need a lawyer if I'm in an accident without a police report?
Nearly every state requires that you report a vehicle accident to law enforcement immediately. In California, motorists of private and commercial vehicles are legally obligated to alert the local police department or California Highway Patrol if someone is injured or killed in a crash. But what about collisions where no one was hurt, everyone has insurance and the property damage was minimal? It may seem perfectly logical to keep things simple, exchange info with the other driver, and be on your way.
The problem with this scenario is that a police report carries heavy weight if things go south, and liability is later contested. A written police report provides vital information on the details of the accident. It outlines not only the time and place of the incident, but the weather conditions, statements provided by neutral bystanders and witnesses, damage to the vehicles involved, and injuries suffered by the drivers and occupants.
The value of a police report in a car accident claim
If you don’t have a police report that documents the accident details, you are opening yourself up to personal injury litigation down the line. You could be sued by the other driver, on potentially false grounds, for medical bills or vehicle damage that you didn’t even cause. For this reason, it’s in your best interest to retain a knowledgeable Los Angeles personal injury lawyer to represent your case. Otherwise, it’s your word against theirs.
Not involving the police after a car accident can be a costly mistake. A law enforcement officer will write an objective view of what he or she sees and hears at the crash scene, the environmental factors that may have contributed to the accident and which party appears to be at fault. Without a police report, it can be challenging to source evidence that counters another driver’s claims.
There have been countless cases where drivers have been held responsible for fake car accident injuries and forced to defend themselves in legal proceedings. A good attorney will have the resources and skills in place to protect your interests in just this type of situation. Bear in mind that another driver can decide to sue you weeks or even several months after a vehicle accident in Los Angeles, and while a police report is an effective tool in litigation, an experienced lawyer will minimize the chances that a lawsuit will ever be filed.
How a reputable lawyer can protect your interests
Any kind of car crash can leave you feeling nervous, shaken and – understandably – not in the best position to make rational decisions. If you do nothing else after an accident, seek medical attention and speak to an attorney at Ellis Law. Our legal team takes swift action to document and collect evidence that bolsters your side of the story, and we have a proven record of getting fair settlements from insurance carriers.
Police reports are often used in personal injury claims and court proceedings. Without one, an attorney will need to step in to ensure you are protected and rightfully compensated for any damages or injuries that were sustained. If the other driver flees the scene of the accident, your legal representative can facilitate the claims process with your own insurance carrier, and help you seek reparations in the event the insurance company denies your claim outright or decides to underpay.
Navigating the complexities of insurance claims are confusing enough without the threat of litigation. Should you disagree with the adjustor’s decision, you need a trusted Los Angeles car accident lawyer in your corner — a law firm that can use their knowledge of negligence laws to their advantage.
Effective car accident representation in California
Ellis Law attorneys have helped hundreds of clients move on with their lives after a car accident and are prepared to advocate on your behalf. We will help you understand the possible legal consequences if the courts become involved, and work with industry experts who lend credence to your claim.
For professional, effective representation in Southern California, reach out to Ellis Law for a free, no-obligation consultation today. It costs nothing to hire a personal injury attorney at our firm, and we only get paid if we collect compensation on your behalf.