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What If I Don’t Call the Police After a Car Accident?

Written by Jared Staver

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Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Auto Accidents


Not every car accident results in major damages or injuries. Sometimes, you’re just involved in a small fender bender and both you and the other driver are okay. Because you exchanged insurance information with the other motorist, you may think there’s no reason to call the police. But, choosing not to call the police after a car accident could end up bringing you trouble, and in some cases, it could be against the law.

If you or a loved one has been in a car accident and did not call the police, you should reach out to our Chicago car accident lawyers for help. We can evaluate your case and discuss your legal options.

Call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. today at (312) 236-2900 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

Failing to File a Report Can Hurt Your Case

After a minor accident, you may decide that since your car is drivable, it is fine. But, unless you’re a mechanic and you gave your car a thorough examination, you don’t really know for sure. What if, for instance, the frame is cracked? You don’t know because you can’t see it.

It’s possible to have minor dents or dings turn into bigger problems down the road. If you find you need to make repairs later, you may not be able to get the other driver’s insurance company to pay for it. Instead, they will likely make the argument that you’re trying to be reimbursed for car problems that existed before the accident. Without a police report or any proof of the accident, you may not be able to recover proper compensation.

Similarly, you may feel fine right after the crash, but later on, you begin to notice pain in your neck or back. The force of even a minor rear-end accident can be enough to jerk your neck, which could result in injury to areas like your neck or spine. Again, the insurance company will probably argue against paying your bills, since you didn’t get medical treatment right away or bother to file a police report.

Not Reporting an Accident Could Get You in Trouble

You are required by law to file a police report, particularly in certain circumstances. This includes if one car was considerably damaged or one or more people were hurt or killed. Not doing so could result in a fine or even jail time.

You Should File a Report Right Away

Many counties don’t send police to the scene of an accident when the damage is minor and the drivers are uninjured. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t still file a report. You can go to the station, or call the police after a car accident. Some precincts may allow you to file online as well. No matter what method you choose, it’s important that you do it right away because you only have a 10-day window to report the accident.

Get Help from a Lawyer

If you’ve recently been in a minor accident and you’re not sure what you need to do, you should contact a lawyer for advice. Our attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. help motorists no matter how big or small the accident. The important part is to make sure you’re covered against any future incidents. To schedule a free consultation, contact us at (312) 236-2900 right away.

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(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900
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