When you are in a car accident do you really need to get a police report ?

Asked 6 months ago - Chicago, IL

I was in a car accident and I was rear ended ,I didn't call the police because the woman who hit was nice and told me to call her insurance company, no injuries but there are damages to my car ,not sure what to do at this point? the car is barely drivable ,do I need a lawyer even though i wasn't injured ? should I fix the car on my own and give the bill to her insurance company or wait ?please help

Attorney answers (16)

  1. Joseph Andrew Brabender IV

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

    20

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You need to make a police report, especially when there is substantial damage. You don't usually need a lawyer for a non-injury case and most lawyers don't handle property only matters unless the vehicle is very valuable.

    Report the incident to your carrier, they will resolve the dispute with the other driver's carrier. If you don't have collision coverage, you will be left negotiating with her carrier on your own.

    Though we strive to provide accurate legal information in our answers on AVVO, our answer should not be construed... more
  2. Judy A. Goldstein

    Contributor Level 20

    17

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You need to file a police report and make a claim with your insurance carrier. The lady who hit you might be really nice but that will not get you the relief you need.

  3. Charles Joseph Michael Candiano

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    17

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . ALWAYS get a police report. Stories change. Police reports don't. You do NOT need an attorney. Turn this in to your insurance so your car is repaired and you have a loaner in the meantime. You will have to pay your deductible but you will get it back AND you will be able to control how your car is repaired.

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate by providing feedback that the answer was either "helpful"... more
  4. Louis Joseph Meyer

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

    14

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . I would make a report. Report it to your insurance. Take photos of the damage and contact the other driver's insurance to start a claim.

    For a simple property damage claim, you may not need an attorney, unless you start getting jerked around by the at fault drivers insurance.

  5. Jonathan P. Groth

    Pro

    Contributor Level 12

    15

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with everything that the other lawyers said to answer this question. I always advise people to call the police and ask that a police report be filed.

    Sending an email or posting a question does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney client privilege.... more
  6. Michael David Myers

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

    14

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Turn it over to your insurance company.

  7. Francis M Smith

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

    13

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Get in touch with the insurance company right away. Memorialize the damage with a lot of photos. The other insurance company will want to do their own estimate or have someone look at it. You may not have to hire an attorney for the property damage to the car, but make sure you don't sign a release for all possible damages, in case something does come up physically.

    Every situation is different, and good legal advice cannot be given based on a short question without an... more
  8. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Always report every accident to police & insurance carrier.

  9. John L. Schroeder

    Contributor Level 18

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should always get a police report. It is not unusual for stories to change after leaving the accident scene. If the police report records that the other party said they were at fault, that statement can be used in a trial.

  10. Jason Andrew Marker

    Pro

    Contributor Level 11

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I would certainly recommend you make a police report for all of the reasons other attorneys have mentioned. I have seen too many examples of times where not doing so comes back to bit someone because either the person changes his/her story or there is simply no documentation of the events to help your insurance carrier recover.

    I do not feel you need an attorney to handle the matter if you were not injured. Your insurance carrier can handle the reimbursement of your property damage for you. Take pictures and speak to your carrier about anything else they will need. Good luck,

  11. Andrew Daniel Myers

    Contributor Level 20

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Auto accidents are negligence. If the nice lady who hit your car was really nice would she have hit your car to the point of rendering it barely driveable or discouraged you from calling the police, which would have generated official documentation of the accident. File your own operators report. Call your own insurance agent and pursue a claim to your own insurance company for full payment of the collision damages. Your company can subrogate against her company. [removed]

    Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers, North Andover, MA & Derry, NH provide answers for informational purposes only.... more
  12. Tatiana Kadetskaya

    Contributor Level 19

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Turn it over to your insurance carrier to resolve.

  13. Lars A. Lundeen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . As a general rule, it is usually best to call the police to the scene and file a report. However, the lack of a report should not be fatal to any claim you may make. Contact the adverse insurance carrier and ask them to send an adjuster to view the damage. In the meantime, you should get your own estimate of the damage so that you have an independent figure to compare. Hopefully the adverse insurance carrier can work an arrangement that is satisfactory to you and you can have your car fixed and paid for by the adverse party's insurance carrier.

    Legal Disclaimer:

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.

    Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

    This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.
  14. James Di Bella

    Contributor Level 8

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You need proper representation for your case. You should seek representation here on avvo.com or contact the Chicago Bar Association.
    Sincerely,
    James Di Bella, Esq.

  15. Burgess Williams

    Contributor Level 6

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should always get a police report so that you have an opinion from a neutral third party as to who was at fault.

  16. Philip Anthony Fabiano

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . While the better course would have been to call the police. That ship has sailed. In addition even if you called the police, if there were no injuries and the cars were drivable the police may not have made a report anyway. What is important is what happened and what you recall happened.
    Report this to your insurance company and the insurance company for the "viper" that hit you.

    If you feel this is the "best" answer or is "helpful," please indicate. Since I am limited to the information you... more

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