July 30, 2020
Pitts Carr and Alex Weatherby
Can You File an Insurance Claim Without a Police Report in Atlanta, Georgia?
If you were recently in a car accident in Atlanta, Georgia, you probably have a lot on your mind. You may be looking to file a claim with your insurance company. If you are the at fault driver, you will need to file an insurance claim to protect your assets. If you are the injured person, filing an insurance claim can get you the compensation you deserve. Perhaps you are also thinking of filing a lawsuit against the other driver involved in the accident. In both cases, there is an important question: can you file an insurance claim without a police report?
Here, we will answer your questions about filing an insurance claim without a police report in Atlanta, GA. We will also discuss your next steps after a car accident if you do not have a police report.
Do You Need a Police Report to File an Insurance Claim in Atlanta?
It depends on your insurance policy. Some insurance companies do not require police reports. Some insurance companies may require a police report to process claims for personal injuries, so you should check your insurance policy for your company’s specific requirements.
All insurance companies require a claim be filed quickly after an accident. The insurance policy probably has language that require claims be filed “immediately” or something similiar. Because of that, you should report the accident to the insurance company as soon as you can, with our without a police report. If one is required, then supplement your reporting with the police report as soon as you can.
Insurance companies require police reports because they provide valuable evidence about the accident. If you do not have a police report, it may be possible to file a no police report insurance claim using a personal accident report available from the Georgia Department of Insurance (discussed below).
Georgia state law requires drivers to report any car accident that results in an injury, death, or property damage over $500. It is in your best interest to call the police to the scene of a car accident even if the other driver just wants to exchange information. A police report can help with your insurance claim.
Can I Sue the Other Driver Without a Police Report?
If you did not report your accident to the police, you can still file a lawsuit. You can rely on other evidence to support your claim, such as physical evidence, photographs, witness statements, and your own testimony.
In Georgia, generally, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a suit for personal injuries. You have four years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit for damage to your vehicle or other property. If you are suing on behalf of someone who died as a result of a car accident, generally, you have two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death claim.
Although you can sue without a police report, a police report is useful evidence in a personal injury claim. A report made at the scene of the accident preserves details that you or other witnesses might otherwise forget.
Step by Step: What Should I Do If the Police Did Not Come to the Scene of the Accident?
After an accident, if you did not call the police or they were unable to come, there are several steps you should take to file a no police report insurance claim or a lawsuit.
Get Contact Information from the Other Driver
If there is no formal police report, you can make your own accident report. Your accident report should include at least the following information:
- Name, birth date, address, and driver license number of each driver;
- Year, make, and model of the vehicle involved in the crash;
- Name, birth date, address, and driver license number of the vehicle’s owner if different from the driver; and
- Date and location (city or county) where the accident occurred.
Include as much of this information as possible in your personal accident report.
Make a Personal Accident Report
A personal accident report is a written report that includes the information listed above and a description of the accident. The Georgia Department of Driver Services website provides a form for filing personal accident reports. The description should include all the details that you can remember, including descriptions of any vehicle or other property damage. In the personal report, you can also include the contact information and accounts of any witnesses to the accident. Additionally, you can collect pictures or video of the location where the accident occurred. Pictures and video can be valuable evidence to support or defend a lawsuit or an insurance claim. You can present your personal report to your insurance company or in court as evidence to support your position.
Call Your Insurance Company
It’s crucial to call your insurance company to report the accident. Reporting an accident does not have to and should not include your admission of any fault for the accident. Most insurance policies require you to report any accident to the insurance company so that they can investigate. If you do not follow this policy requirement, your insurance company may raise your premiums, decline coverage, or decline to renew your policy.
Filing a No Police Report Insurance Claim
Once you have reported the accident, you can file a claim with either your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company. Georgia is a “fault” state for car accidents. This means that the at-fault driver is responsible for compensating other parties for injuries and damage. If you believe the other driver involved in the accident was at fault, you may file your claim directly with the other driver’s insurance company. We recommend that you file with both your insurer and the at fault driver’s insurer, to make sure that all your bases are covered.
Contact an Auto Accident Lawyer in Atlanta, GA
If you want to file a lawsuit after your car accident or are defending a lawsuit, you should contact an experienced Atlanta car accident lawyer. It is especially important to contact a lawyer if you, one of your passengers, or the other driver was severely or catastrophically injured in the accident. The skilled personal injury lawyers at Carr & Weatherby can help you ensure the injury compensation is fair and just.