Do you have to call the police when you get into a minor car accident? What if there are no injuries and the damage is minimal? What if there’s a minor car accident and no police report?
In this article, we’ll explore your options for reporting a minor auto accident. We’ll also discuss what happens if you don’t report the accident and whether that can affect your insurance coverage. So, read on to learn more.
What Counts as a Minor Car Accident?
Generally speaking, a minor vehicle accident is any collision that results in minimal damage and no injuries. Of course, this is just a general guideline; ultimately, it is up to the insurance companies to determine whether an accident is minor.
Reporting a Minor Car Accident
Regardless of how cautious you are, there’s always a possibility that you’ll be involved in a minor auto accident. If this happens, it’s essential to know what to do next.
In some states, no police report for a car accident is necessary unless there’s a particular amount of damage. However, even if the damage appears minor, it’s a good idea to call the police and have them make an official report.
Reporting a small car accident provides a written record, which can be essential if there is any dispute about who is at fault. Furthermore, the police report can be used to support an insurance claim.
When Are You Required to File an Accident Report?
In some states, you’re legally required to file a police report if there’s a particular amount of damage. In others, you should report any accident, regardless of how minor it is.
All in all, it’s a good idea to call the police and make an official report. This will ensure that all the facts are documented, and you have a record of what happened in case of a dispute.
Minor Car Accident: No Police Report
Sometimes, people choose not to report an accident, especially if it’s a minor one. For instance, if there’s a minor parking lot accident, no police report is filed.
However, there are actually several disadvantages to not reporting a crash, even a minor one:
- If there is damage to either vehicle, it can be challenging to prove who was at fault without a police report. This can lead to disagreements between the parties and potentially even legal action.
- If there’s a minor car accident with no police report, there will be no official accident record. So, no police report will make it more difficult to file an insurance claim, as insurers may require evidence of the accident before processing the claim.
- Not reporting an accident can withhold valuable information about what happened in the accident and how it can be prevented in the future.
For all these reasons, it is generally advisable to file a police report after any car accident, even if it appears minor. However, if you did not file a police report at the time of the accident, you could still do it after the fact.
Can You File an Insurance Claim Without a Police Report?
Filing an insurance claim after a minor car accident with no police report can be done, but it may not be in your best interest to avoid reporting the crash:
- If any injuries result from the accident, it is always advisable to have a medical professional document them as soon as possible.
- Insurance takes accident reports seriously, as they contain valuable information. Some of them are the names and contact information of witnesses, a description of the accident scene, etc. It can also include unbiased third party statements. This point is crucial, as insurance companies will often try to downplay the severity of an accident or even deny coverage if they believe you were at fault.
A minor fender bender with no police report may risk your claim’s validity. Also, it can expose you to some potential bad faith tactics from your insurer.
So, while any accident without injuries and damage of less than $1,000 to each vehicle is typically considered a non-reportable accident, it is always better to report it because accidents can affect your insurance rates.
In short, while you can technically file an insurance claim without a police report, you should get one to protect your interests.
Car Accident With No Police Report and No Witness
Suppose you’ve been involved in a parking lot minor car accident, no police report was filed, and there are no potential witnesses. In that case, insurance companies will typically use skid marks and vehicle positions to reconstruct the accident.
This process is generally accepted as accurate enough to determine who is at fault. However, if you dispute the insurance company’s findings, you may want to hire an independent reconstruction expert to review their results and offer a second opinion.
Not Reporting Accident to Insurance
If you’re involved in an accident and don’t report it to your insurance company, there are a few possible consequences:
- If the other driver files a claim with their insurer, your insurance rates could increase. Let’s not forget that insurance rates rise by 41% after an accident.
- If you subsequently file a claim for a different incident, your insurer may refuse to pay. This is because you failed to disclose the earlier accident.
- Your rates could go up at renewal time because you failed to report an accident that should have been on your driving record.
In short, it’s always best to notify your insurance company immediately after an accident.
People Also Ask
What happens if you don’t exchange information after an accident?
If you do not exchange information with the other driver and then try to file a claim with your insurance company, your insurer will likely deny their claim since they cannot know who was at fault.
The same goes for the other driver’s insurance company if they try to file a claim against you.
Do you need a police report for an accident?
If the police did not file an accident report, you wouldn’t have a document about what happened during the accident. Also, the report can be helpful if you need to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
Do I need a police report to file a claim?
No, you don’t need a police report for an insurance claim. Then again, having one can help prove the accident account validity and speed up the process.
Do police report accidents to insurance companies?
No, they don’t. Be that as it may, insurance companies can access accident reports if they request them from the police department.
Do you have to pay for the police report?
You will most likely have to pay for a police report after an accident. The fee varies depending on the state, but it’s typically around $10–$15.
Do you have to file a police report after an accident?
The answer to this question depends on the accident’s severity and where it occurred. In some states, you can get through an accident without a police report unless there’s a particular amount of damage.
On the other hand, you should report any accident in others. So, if there’s even a minor car accident with no police report, you’ll face penalties.