Can I File an Insurance Claim Without a Police Report?
There are many varying opinions on whether or not you need to file a police report when an auto accident occurs. Some people believe that you are not required to submit an actual report unless the accident was a hit and run event. Others believe that you have the option to file a report based on if you want to make a claim to your insurer. And still, others believe that having a report completed is up to the police officer.
All of these beliefs are inaccurate. In the State of Nevada, you are required to report all accidents that involve any injuries or deaths or those that resulted in any physical damage to the vehicles to the police for an investigation. State law requires that this report is conducted immediately and that all appropriate actions are taken to fulfill this requirement.
If a police investigation doesn’t happen, or if the police report fails to contain the insurance information of the driver, or if the damages to the vehicles exceed $750, an official report must be filed within ten days to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This is mandatory, and failure to submit this information can result in the driver of the vehicle having their license suspended for a year.
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Why You Really Want To File A Police Report
A police investigation and report should be requested at the scene of any accident regardless of how minor it may appear. The reason for this is to protect your rights as the victim of a vehicular accident. That report will include several important details that are necessary to submit an insurance claim.
The police report will also provide details about how the accident occurred, who they believe was responsible, information regarding injuries and visible damage to the vehicles, and information about the other party involved in the event.
If you have been injured, having a police report created at the time of the accident helps protect your rights to receive medical care. Insurance companies often delay or deny treatment for injuries from accidents that they cannot immediately verify. This protocol could have a lasting and severe impact on your health and overall recovery from your injuries.
A final benefit of having a police report filed at the time of the accident is because it provides you with the information you need to submit a claim for compensation. The information contained in that report will be very relevant to the success of your case. Delayed filings can lead to speculation about the events of the accident and can significantly reduce your overall compensation package.
Injuries Are Often More Serious Than Estimated
It’s common for a person involved in a car accident to believe that they are only suffering a minor injury, or simply just bumps and bruises. Some may also believe they just have a headache or stomach ache from the stress related to the event. These conclusions are often one of the main reasons that they do not believe they need to file a police report. Many just want to submit the vehicle damage report with the DMV and move on with their lives.
Sadly, many of these injuries are much more severe than the injured party realizes at the time of the accident. A headache can be a sign of a head injury, whiplash, neck or spine trauma, or a concussion. The upset stomach may not be nerves at all but instead could be internal bleeding from being jolted against the interior of the car. The bumps and bruises may be fractures or sprains that need treatment.
When you have the police investigate the accident at the time of the event, you can also seek immediate medical care. It is never silly or a waste of time to get a medical evaluation after an accident. In fact, it can save your life.
Navigating The Compensation Process
The process of receiving compensation for your injuries and financial losses can quickly become complicated. It is designed this way by the insurers to discourage people from seeking claims. Sadly, when a person is seeking compensation from the insurer without any legal representation, the process becomes even more difficult for the injured party.
Having quality legal representation by an experienced car accident attorney is always your best option in this type of situation. Your attorney can help relieve the burden of the insurance process so you can focus your attention on your recovery. Your attorney will also help you:
- Obtain the police reports associated with the accident and review the information.
- Contact and interview witnesses to the crash.
- Have an expert accident reconstructionist examine the facts of the accident if there are any questions concerning who was at-fault.
- File any necessary paperwork with the DMV.
- File a claim for compensation with the right insurance company.
- Establish that the insurer is providing you with all the benefits that you’re entitled to under the terms of their policy and Nevada law.
- Negotiate the terms of your compensation to ensure that the insurer is being fair with their compensation package.
- File a lawsuit on behalf of the client if negotiations are not favorable to the client.
- Represent the client in Court.
In addition to these services, your attorney will provide you with sound legal advice throughout the process, so all decisions made regarding your case will be in your best interest.
Being involved in an accident is always traumatic. Many legal issues must be addressed as soon as the crash occurs, including having the police investigate the accident and write a report. If you have been injured in an auto accident, and aren’t sure what your next steps should be, you may want to seek the help of a Las Vegas auto accident attorney.
Your lawyer can ensure you follow all the necessary steps, including filing the mandatory police report, so you don’t find yourself in a worse situation. A qualified lawyer will have the experience and knowledge of this type of event that will be beneficial to getting you the adequate compensation for your recovery.
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Adam S. Kutner
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With more than 31 years of experience fighting for victims of personal injury in the Las Vegas valley, Attorney Adam S. Kutner knows his way around the Nevada court system and how to get clients their settlement promptly and trouble-free.
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