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What Happens If a Police Report is Not Filed After a Car Accident?

Posted on May 5, 2021 in

After an Oregon car accident, there are a number of steps you will need to take. You will need to exchange information with the other driver, seek medical attention, and take steps to file an insurance claim. You will also need to report the accident to the police. Failure to file a police report can result in serious penalties and impact your ability to recover compensation after a collision.

What Happens If a Police Report Wasn’t Filed After a Car Accident?

Oregon Car Accident Reporting Requirements

When does the law require you to file an accident report? According to ORS 811.745, drivers must report certain accidents to the police after a collision. Generally, you will need to report any accident that results in injury, death, or property damage that exceeds $2,500. Failure to file a police report under these circumstances is a Class A traffic violation, which may result in a $440 fine.

In addition to the police report, you will need to file an Oregon Traffic Accident and Insurance Report with the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The DMV requires you to file this report if your accident involves the following circumstances.

  • Vehicle damage that exceeds $2,500
  • Injury or death to any person
  • A vehicle that is towed from the scene
  • Property damage that exceeds $2,500

Failure to file a report with the DMV may result in a license suspension.

How a Missing Police Report Affects Your Case

There are many reasons why people choose not to file a police report after an accident. However, reporting an accident not only helps you avoid fines and license penalties—failure to file a police report can impact your ability to recover compensation after the collision. The police report provides a valuable piece of evidence in your claim; the document establishes who was involved and how the officer believes the accident occurred.

The police report will establish a standard version of events that can help you establish the other driver’s liability. The insurance company will also require the report to verify that the accident occurred, and your own company may need the report to verify that you were not responsible. Failure to report the accident can prevent you from recovering compensation or lead to higher insurance rates.

What to Do If There Is No Police Report

It is in your best interest to call 911 and report a car accident as soon as possible after the collision. If you do not have a police report, you can still file a claim against the at-fault driver. You can use the following pieces of evidence to prove your right to compensation.

  • Statements from witnesses who were present at the scene of the accident
  • Photographs of your vehicle, the accident scene, your injuries, and other objects present at the collision
  • Expert witness testimony and recreations from accident reconstruction specialists
  • Recordings from surveillance cameras, traffic cameras, and other video devices
  • Medical records and other documents that detail your injuries and treatment

You should also contact a Portland car accident attorney as soon as possible. An attorney will have experience handling claims similar to yours, including crashes that do not have an accompanying police report. He or she will be able to identify potential challenges in filing your claim and take steps to prove the other driver’s liability.

After the accident, seek medical attention and save all documents related to your treatment. Once you receive treatment, contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney will review your claim and identify your optimal path to recovery.

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