The Barnes Firm

What happens when you file a police report after an accident? A car accident lawyer in Orange County explains why filing a report is necessary

What Happens When You File A Police Report After an Accident?

What Happens When You File A Police Report After an Accident?

More than 6 million accidents happen each year, and every person will get into an average of 3 accidents in their lifetime. As a driver, every day presents another chance of getting into an accident on the road. That’s why the best car accident lawyers agree that it’s imperative to understand what to do if you get into a car accident.

  • What Happens When You File A Police Report After an Accident?
  • Should I File An Accident Report?
  • Do I Need To See The Doctor?

These are just some of the commonly asked questions a car accident lawyer hears on a daily basis. With decades of combined experience, The Barnes Firm can help answer any questions you may have after an accident, including What Happens After You File A Police Report?

Am I Required to File a Police Report?

If you’re in a car accident, state law requires you to file a police report. Instead of waiting multiple days to get this done, it’s in your best interest to call law enforcement officials immediately and get a report on the scene. It’s essential to file a police report in situations where:

  • Property damage exceeds $1,000
  • There were multiple injuries
  • A person was killed
  • More than two cars were involved

The only exception to the law regarding filing a police report after an accident is if you’re in a single-vehicle accident on personal property, such as a driveway or in your garage.

Important Information to Collect After Your Accident

When you call the police or they show up on the scene to file a report, there’s certain information they’ll need from you. The most important information to document after a car accident is:

  • Each party’s personal and insurance information
  • Witness statements
  • Pictures of property damage
  • Pictures or documentation of injuries

Collecting this information right away will help complete a full report for the police. It’s important to stick to the facts only; never admit fault for an accident, even if you believe you were responsible. There are a number of factors that could’ve contributed to the accident, including:

  • The other driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • The other driver wasn’t attentive
  • A mechanical malfunction
  • Or other factors

The bottom line is, there may have been a number of unexpected variables that led to a crash, and sticking to the facts is the best way for investigators to come to the right conclusion.

Filing a Police Report Doesn’t Mean You’re Making a Claim

It’s important to understand that filing a police report is not the same as filing an insurance claim. When you file a police report, you’re:

  • Creating an official record of your accident
  • Creating a foundation for further investigation into your accident
  • Recording an official statement regarding your experience of the event

If your vehicle is damaged, you’re injured, or your property was damaged, you may also need to consider filing a claim. If you’ve been injured, a car accident lawyer can best help you file a claim, meet the necessary deadlines, and help obtain the best possible result on your behalf. Remember, if you have any medical bills, lost time at work or other costs stemming from your injuries, you shouldn’t have to pay for these if the accident wasn’t your fault! An experienced car accident attorney can help you get financial compensation.

Police Reports Help with Personal Injury Cases

Just like filing a police report helps with filing an insurance claim, it also makes a big difference if you need to make a personal injury claim. If you were injured on the scene of the accident, a police report will be a complete record of it.

It’s important to monitor your health in the days and weeks that follow an accident too. Many injuries don’t show up for days or even weeks after a car accident. If you have injuries that show up later, a lawyer can help obtain documentation that can be used to prove that the injuries you’re seeking compensation for are directly related to the car accident. Official documentation of injuries makes it more difficult for a court to rule against you.

If you’ve recently suffered a car accident, The Barnes Firm is here for you. Our attorneys have experience winning cases for car accident victims and will work hard to help you receive you the best possible result. For a free consultation, contact The Barnes Firm today.

The Barnes Firm (800) 800-0000


“The Barnes Firm did an excellent job on my car accident case. Jade was extremely helpful at answering all of my questions.”

Ghyar A.

“The Barnes Firm was very friendly, always quick to respond to our calls and emails. When we had any questions or concerns, they were there to walk us through everything. I would definitely recommend them to anyone that is looking for an attorney that will honestly fight for you and has your best interest in mind.”

Nichole W.

“They handled everything with my accident and got me the maximum amount of money back, more than I thought I would get! Thanks!!”

Philip F.