The aftermath of a St. Louis car accident can get confusing quickly. Here’s what you should know about filing a Missouri police report after an accident.
If you’ve been in a car accident, you probably know the few basic things you need to do afterward: take pictures of the scene, do not admit fault to the other driver, call your insurance company, and so on. However, you may be wondering if you need to call the police to file a police report. Here are a few things you should know.
In Missouri, a Police Report is Required to be Filed in Certain Accidents
In the state of Missouri, you are legally required to file a police report if the crash:
- Led to the severe injury or death of someone
- Caused more than $500 worth of damage
- Involved an uninsured driver
At the scene, it can be tough to gauge the amount of damage done to both vehicles. More than $500 worth of damage may have been done, but you don’t know. You may discover internal damage later or have a problem pop up down the line. If you are even remotely unsure, it might be best to file a police report.
You have up to 30 days from the day of the accident to file a report. This gap allows for the fact that you may be recovering from injuries after the accident or occupied trying to repair your car and deal with insurance. However, it might be easiest to do it as soon as possible afterward, while the details are still fresh in your memory.
What Are the Benefits of a Police Report?
A police report is a clear, undisputed record of the event. Many car accidents can turn into a he-said, she-said situation because neither driver wants to be at fault. However, if a police officer comes to the scene, they can examine the crash themselves, document the incident, and speak to both drivers. A police officer on the scene will also speak to any witnesses that might have seen the accident.
A Police Report Can Make Arguing Fault Easier
Missouri is a comparative fault state, so determining fault can be a murky process. However, a police report is an unbiased piece of evidence you can use when speaking to your insurance company or a judge. If you hire a car accident attorney to handle the case, they will likely ask to see a copy of the police report.
If you hire a car accident lawyer in the state of Missouri, a police report will be very useful for them to analyze your case. For car accidents and personal injury, The Hoffman Law Firm has over 20 years of experience. Speak to a lawyer 24/7 for free at (314) 361-4242.
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