Why You Always Want To File A Police Report After A Motorcycle Accident
Posted on: 21 November 2022
The increase in dash cams and motorcycle camera videos showing near misses and actual accidents has provided police and lawyers with very good evidence of how accidents have happened. If you're in an accident, you may think that you don't need a report from a third-party police officer, but nothing could be further from the truth. If you are in an accident, especially if you're on a motorcycle, you always want to file a police report. Video evidence is great, but it shows only what happened in the camera's view. The report takes in the entire scene and can help untangle tricky timelines and motorcycle damage.
That's the Official Record That Insurance Companies Use
Your insurance agent will listen to your side of the story, of course, but for an impartial description of damage, injury, and potential timeline of what happened, a police report is best. If you have videos of what happened, such as from a dash cam from the car or a camera on your helmet, that is extremely helpful, of course. But when you have that video, then you really want a police report because that report still functions as the key piece of paper that says, yes, this accident was serious and did not appear to be staged.
Without the Report, It's You Versus the Other Party
When a car hits a motorcycle, the damage looks a lot different than when a car hits another car. With two cars, you can generally see what hit where because of how the dents look. But with a motorcycle, it's a bit harder because there is less on the motorcycle to hit, as it's a smaller vehicle. And, a hit from a car that might dent another car can send a motorcycle skidding down the road. The police report is going to be your best record of what happened; otherwise, assuming there is no dash cam in the car or on your bike, the case will be your word against the other party's word. Witnesses aren't always reliable if they exist for your case at all.
Courts May Wonder Why No Report Was Filed if You Sue
If you were in an accident and are suing for more compensation, that implies that you acknowledge the accident was serious. So, if it was so serious that you needed money for medical bills and such, why did you not file a police report? The court may ask you this if you can't produce a report because that report is supposed to be a major record-keeping step when dealing with accidents. Not filing a report makes it look like you waved off police and decided their input wasn't necessary, which is not consistent with thinking an accident was serious. Some states place a time limit on when you can report an accident to the police, and that time limit is usually very short. Treat the accident scene as the time and place to file a police report.
When you have a police report detailing what happened, the lawyer tackling your case has a lot more to go on. The observations of the police are crucial to figuring out who was at fault in a motorcycle accident as the damage does not look the same as it would on a car.
To learn more, contact a motorcycle accident attorney in your area such as David Helfand PA.Share