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Can I File an Accident Claim If There Was No Police Report?

The Morris Firm Nov. 27, 2023

Female Motorist Involved In Car Accident Calling Insurance CompanyMany people who are involved in car accidents make the mistake of not contacting the police immediately after the crash and are left without a police report, a critical piece of evidence for their subsequent claim for compensation. In most cases, this happens when the victim believes they were not hurt or that their injuries are minor. However, as they later discover the full extent of the physical damage in the days or weeks that follow, they might begin wondering, “Can I still file a claim for compensation if I don’t have a police report?”  

Attorney Raphael Morris can walk you through the claims process when seeking compensation after a car accident in St. Louis, Missouri, or surrounding areas, including Jefferson County, St. Charles, and St. Charles County. The founding attorney of The Morris Firm can help you navigate the challenges you may be facing when trying to seek compensation without a copy of the police or crash report.  

Missouri Laws and Procedures for Filing a Car Crash Report  

Missouri law allows drivers involved in car accidents to report crashes within 30 days of the accident. The 30-day deadline was set in place for drivers who are unable to file a car crash report immediately after the accident. Generally, it is best to call the police at the scene of the accident to obtain a copy of the police report. Missouri law requires drivers to call the police when an accident causes injuries, deaths, or at least $500 in property damage.  

If you wait to file your report within the 30-day timeframe, you will most likely be required to submit a certification from your physician that proves that you could not have reasonably discovered your injuries earlier.  

Why Getting a Police Report After an Accident Is Important 

A police report contains information about a car accident that could be helpful when pursuing a claim for compensation. Such information includes: 

  • Documentation of the accident. The report states when and where the crash took place.  

  • Contact information. The report contains the contact information of each party involved as well as the contact information of each driver’s insurance company.  

  • Statements. The police officer who arrives at the scene will usually take statements from all the parties involved in the crash. The statements could later be used to establish fault. The report may also contain the statements of witnesses who saw what happened.  

  • Description of how the crash happened. After analyzing all the evidence and statements, the police officer will write their own conclusions as to how the accident happened and who is at fault.  

  • Description of the consequences. The police report will note the injuries suffered by the persons involved, the damages to the vehicles, and other consequences (e.g., a damaged light pole).  

  • Diagram. Police reports also typically contain a diagram showing the scene of the accident and the point of impact between the vehicles involved. 

  • Photographs. Police officers will usually take photographs at the scene, which can become part of the police report.  

  • Citations. If any of the parties involved violated any traffic laws, the police officer may issue citations. The report will note what these citations are and for what.  

All of the above-mentioned information can be helpful in strengthening your future claim for compensation. Without this information, you could have a hard time establishing fault or even proving that the accident occurred in the first place.  

Can You File a Car Insurance Claim Without a Police Report? 

Yes, you can. A police report is not necessary to file a claim for compensation, but it is worth mentioning that having one can significantly strengthen your claim and speed up the claims process. When there is no police report, the insurance company is more likely to scrutinize your claim, especially when other pieces of evidence (e.g., witness statements) are missing or are not reliable enough.  

When a claimant is unable to produce a copy of the police report when filing a claim, the insurer might question the circumstances of the crash or have an investigator assess the case at hand to determine the validity of the claim. However, do not let the absence of a police report deter you from seeking financial compensation after a car accident. Attorney Raphael Morris can guide you through the challenges of filing a car insurance claim without a police report to ensure that you are rightfully compensated for all your damages and losses.  

When to Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company  

The time immediately after the crash can be hectic and stressful, which is why many drivers forget to call their insurance company. However, it is best to report your accident to your insurer as soon as possible, as not doing so creates the risk of getting your claim for compensation denied. Insurance companies typically have time limits on how long to report accidents.  

These time limits, which can be found in your policy, vary greatly depending on the provider but usually fall within the 24-72-hour range. When working with an attorney after a car accident, your attorney will review your insurance policy to advise you on the time limits and other requirements that could decide the outcome of your claim.  

Get the Support of a Skilled Attorney 

If you have been involved in a car accident but have no police report, you might still be entitled to financial compensation. Attorney Raphael Morris understands the complexities involved and can help you build a strong case for compensation, whether you have a police report or not. Get the support you need and deserve by reaching out to The Morris Firm and scheduling a free case evaluation.