Minor Car Accident, No Police Report

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Minor Car Accident, No Police Report

Despite the frequent stories of serious car accidents one might see on the evening news, a majority of motor vehicle collisions result in only minor injuries and property damage. For every heart-wrenching image of the twisted wreckage of an automobile, dozens of less-severe fender benders unfold within the same area. 

If you get involved in a minor vehicle collision, should you contact the local law enforcement agency to respond to the scene of the collision—even if the accident doesn’t seem like a big deal? The answer depends on the state where you live and the rules put in place by your insurance company.

Calling 911 to activate the local police department serves two important purposes. First, the responding police officers secure the accident scene to prevent additional injuries and property damage. Second, the law enforcement agency responding to a motor vehicle collision conducts an investigation that leads to the submission of the official police report. An official police report contains vital information, such as a detailed description of what transpired before, during, and after the auto crash. Other sections of a police report include the names and contact information of witnesses, as well as a list of the physical evidence gathered at the scene of the collision.

If you get involved in a minor car accident, you should call 911 and let the dispatcher determine whether you need the assistance of law enforcement personnel. Perhaps all parties involved can exchange contact and insurance information without the assistance of a police department, or maybe the nearest law enforcement agency cannot respond to your minor car accident because of a much more pressing police matter. Whatever the reason for getting in a car accident with no police report, you should contact an experienced car accident lawyer to help you file a persuasive insurance claim, and if warranted, a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages.

At Morgan and Morgan, we have compiled an impressive record of representing clients for all types of car accidents, Since 1988 when we opened our first office in Florida, Morgan and Morgan has recovered more than $20 billion in compensation for our clients, with a significant percentage of the compensation coming from favorable legal judgments and negotiated settlements with other parties. Without a police report after a car accident, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to file a claim that gains the approval of your insurance company. Hiring one of the highly-rated car accident lawyers at Morgan and Morgan dramatically strengthens your case.

Schedule a free case evaluation today with an attorney from Morgan and Morgan to determine how to proceed after a minor car accident with no police report.

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Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

  • What Is a Minor Car Accident?

    Defining what constitutes a minor car accident is often in the eye of the beholder. For example, what seems minor to you might be considered serious to the other party involved in an auto crash. The general definition of a minor car accident is one in which the impact generates no serious injuries and minimal property damage. For example, a fender bender in a library parking lot that does not produce serious injuries and property damage should be considered a minor car accident. 

    Most states define what constitutes a minor car accident, which does not require the filing of a police report. For instance, one state might consider a minor car accident to generate less than $500 in property damage, while an adjoining state considers a minor car accident to constitute property damage that is less than $4,000. Another factor to consider concerns where a minor car accident takes place. In most jurisdictions, the local police department does not submit an official accident report of incidents that occur on private property.

    One important reminder: You cannot assess whether a car accident qualifies as minor until you take your motor vehicle to a certified mechanic for an inspection. You should not make the decision while your vehicle sits at the accident scene.

  • Why Is It Important for an Attorney to Represent Me for a Minor Car Accident With No Police Report?

    After a car accident, one of the items on your to-do list should be to contact a state-licensed car accident attorney, regardless of whether a law enforcement agency files an official accident report. However, it is especially important for you to receive legal support for a minor car accident with no police report.

    Conduct a Comprehensive Investigation

    The official police report submitted by a responding law enforcement agency includes the results of the thorough investigation conducted by department personnel. For a minor car accident with no police report, your insurance company does not receive the results of an investigation. The car accident attorney that you hire from Morgan and Morgan fills the void by conducting an extensive investigation with the support of one of our licensed investigators.

    Your attorney and the in-house investigator assigned to your case return to the accident scene to shoot photographs of tire marks and other pieces of physical evidence that might determine whether another party committed one or more acts of negligence. Video footage captured by a traffic and/or security camera represents a pivotal piece of evidence that might demonstrate the other party acted negligently. Common negligent acts that cause motor vehicle collisions include speeding and operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.

    Taking photos of the damage done to your car also can help determine which party should assume blame for causing the collision.

    Meet With Witnesses

    Witnesses provide support for the physical evidence collected at the accident scene, as well as from other valid sources. Your attorney interviews witnesses as close to the date of the auto crash as possible to ensure they provide the most accurate information. Waiting too long to interview witnesses can lead to the submission of unreliable information, as witness accounts tend to lose credibility when they are given several weeks or even a few months after a motor vehicle collision.

    One of the many advantages of your attorney receiving a copy of the official police report involves obtaining the list of witnesses. Without a police report after a car accident, your lawyer has to depend on the witness information supplied by you and possibly another source.

    Helps File Your Insurance Claim

    Filing an insurance claim does not appear to be difficult to do. You complete every section with accurate information and then send the claim form to your insurance company. However, you might be surprised to learn that one of the most common reasons for denied auto insurance claims concerns the filing of incomplete and/or inaccurate forms. Filing a claim after a car accident with no police report can be especially difficult to do.

    Far too many insurance companies take advantage of policyholders that do not retain legal representation. Without an attorney providing you with legal support, your insurance company might deny a valid claim or approve a claim for a value that is far less than what you deserve in compensation. The insurance company processing the claim might justify a denied claim by stating you must submit a copy of the official police report for your claim to be considered for approval. Hiring an attorney prevents the insurance adjuster processing your claim from trying to implement any unethical tactics.

    Calculate Compensation

    Another common reason why insurance companies deny claims concerns the submission of an unfair value for compensation. The car accident attorney from Morgan and Morgan calculates a reasonable value for compensation by first adding up all tangible expenses, such as the costs associated with medical bills and the repairs done to your motor vehicle. Even if the car accident is considered minor, you can still develop injuries that generate substantial medical bills. After calculating the value of economic damages, your attorney determines the value of pain and suffering. Getting involved in even a minor auto crash can trigger emotional distress issues, such as the symptoms that develop because of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

    Your lawyer calculates a fair value for pain and suffering by using a formula that factors in the value of economic damages.

    Buffer Between You and the Insurance Company

    Dealing with an insurance adjuster can consume a significant amount of time, which is time better spent focusing on other areas of your life, such as healing your injuries and developing new career skills that address the limitations placed on you by your injuries. Interacting with an insurance adjuster also can produce considerable stress that is a direct byproduct of feeling highly frustrated with the claim process.

    Your car accident attorney alleviates the burden of dealing with an insurance adjuster by acting as a buffer between you and the insurance company. In addition to handling financial issues, your lawyer also closely monitors the progress of your claim to ensure it receives the attention that it deserves.

    Negotiate a Settlement

    Although a denied insurance claim does not mean the end of your quest to receive compensation, you should consider trying to negotiate a settlement before filing an appeal. The appeal process takes much longer to unfold due to a backlog of appeal requests, as well as a shortage of insurance company personnel to moderate appeal hearings. Unless you submit more compelling physical evidence, getting a denied insurance claim overturned is difficult to do.

    The better option to address a denied auto insurance claim involves trying to negotiate a settlement. Your car accident attorney submits an initial offer, which the insurance company either accepts or rejects. If the insurance adjuster rejects the initial offer, you should receive a counteroffer or a letter explaining how to file an appeal for a denied auto insurance claim. Several counteroffers can follow the initial offer until both parties agree to a settlement or decide to take your denied claim to the appeals process.

  • Work With an Attorney With a Proven Record of Success

    Although getting an auto insurance claim approved for a minor car accident with no police report is more difficult than submitting other types of car insurance claims, working with one of the experienced car accident attorneys at Morgan and Morgan helps boost the strength of your claim. Your lawyer gathers the physical evidence required to file a convincing claim, even without the legal support of an official police report.

    To learn more about how to get an auto insurance claim approved for a minor car accident with no police report, schedule a free case evaluation with Morgan and Morgan.

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