After a car accident caused by another driver, you might agree with the other not to call the police. Perhaps you think you are okay or that you sustained just minor damage. So, is a police report a requirement when filing a claim with the insurance company of the at-fault driver?
Under New Mexico law, if the injuries or damages in a car accident exceed $500, a police report is required. Although you can file a claim without a report, you will struggle to get the compensation you are entitled to if there is no police report available. You must retain the services of a car accident lawyer in Albuquerque who can negotiate your claim settlement with the insurer.
What Happens if there is No Police Report
Right after a car accident, you may feel unhurt only to know late that you are seriously injured. Although can still file a claim for these injuries, it can be hard to reach a settlement with the insurer without a police report. In an attempt to deny your claim, the insurer may argue that your crash never happened, you are to blame for causing the crash or you contributed to it, your injuries did not directly result from the accident, and that your injuries are not as serious as you claim.
Other Evidence that Can Be Used to Prove Your Claim
It is important to prove the negligence of the other driver caused the crash to get compensation for your injuries and losses. The official police report can give valuable information like details on how the accident took place, the statement of other drivers, and the conclusion of the police officer on who was at fault.
The absence of a police report does not ruin your claim. You can gather other pieces of evidence to establish the way the crash happened. You still have to collect other evidence apart from the police report such as eyewitness statements, passenger statements, photos, traffic camera footage, black box data, and more. Also, you and your attorney may have to hire an accident reconstruction expert if a police report is not available. The expert will review all evidence, go to the accident scene, and provide an opinion on who caused the accident. Also, the reconstructionist may make a computer-generated reenactment that shows how the crash took place.
If you hire an attorney from the get-go, they work with you every step of the way. They can collect evidence and hire expert witnesses for you.