Insurance companies will want to know the cause of a car accident. This is because it usually determines who is responsible and who pays for any damages. Although it is possible to prove fault in a car accident without a report from the police, having one can help you prove your innocence.
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A Police Report is required to prove fault
Because they are the official account of an officer’s actions, police reports can be helpful in proving fault. Many reports include detailed observations, such as the location and time of the accident, weather conditions, and the length of skid marks.
A police report can include witness statements and the opinion of the officer about the accident. It also includes information such as whether the driver was given a ticket at accident scene. Insurance companies can use all of these details to determine fault.
Police officers are not required to attend all accidents, particularly if the injuries and minorities aren’t severe. Parties can also use other evidence to prove their fault in these cases. Sometimes, the victim may ask the other to not contact the police. It is possible to make a mistake by not contacting police. Despite whatever promises a party may make on the scene, without police involvement, they may be tempted to change their story about what happened later or give you false identification/contact information.
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Without a police report, you can prove fault
In many accidents, fault cannot be determined without a police investigation. Insurance companies collect information from all parties, and any witnesses, even if they don’t have access police reports.
It is important for motorists to take photos and/or videos after an accident, get copies or photos of insurance documents and identification, and obtain contact information from witnesses and other drivers in order to protect their claim.
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- Sometimes the law will assume fault based upon the type of accident that occurred. Take this example:
- Rear-end accidents are almost always caused by the driver who runs into another vehicle.
- Left-turn collisions are almost always caused by the driver who made the left turn.
Motorists who aren’t sure if they’re at fault for an accident should consult their state’s “Rules of the Road”, which can be found on the DMV’s website or in the state’s highway manual.
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Talk to an attorney about assessing fault
The laws regarding fault differ from one state to the next. While most states have “at fault” laws, a few have “no fault” laws. The way states treat negligence, which can be a form of fault, varies. Before fault can be determined, it is important to fully understand the state laws. Talk to a local attorney about your rights after an accident.