Motor vehicle crashes are among the leading causes of accidental injuries in our region. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) estimates that more than 275,000 people are hurt in traffic accidents statewide each year. A significant crash should always be reported to the police.
This raises an important question: Can you bring a car accident injury claim without a police report? The short answer is that it is more challenging to do so. In this article, our Los Angeles car crash lawyers explain how to navigate a case involving a car accident with no police report in California.
Know the Law: All Injury Crashes Should Be Reported
All motor vehicle collisions that lead to injuries, fatalities, or significant property damage should be reported. Under California law (California Vehicle Code § 20008), all motorists must report a crash in a timely manner. Failure to do so could result in sanctions, potentially even including a suspension of a driver’s license. Non-drivers should also ensure that their collision is reported.
Do Not Assume it is Too Late: Even if your crash was not reported immediately to the police, you may still be within the window to report the incident. An accident resulting in injuries is supposed to be reported within 10 days. If you are still within 10 days of your crash, report the incident to the DMV immediately. Otherwise, call a Los Angeles car accident lawyer for guidance.
A Police Report is an Important Form of Evidence
California is an at-fault auto accident jurisdiction. Holding another party—driver, trucking company, vehicle manufacturer, etc.—legally responsible for your crash requires proving that their negligence contributed to the accident. All successful car accident injury claims are built on a sturdy foundation of reliable evidence.
A police report is one of the most important forms of evidence. It provides documentation that a crash occurs and preserves certain key details. Make sure your crash is reported to a state or local law enforcement agency, such as the California Highway Patrol (CHP), Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office, or the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).
Your Lawyer Will Help You Navigate the Claims Process
Following a serious crash, you should get a copy of the police report. If the time has passed and your accident was never reported, you are not necessarily out of options—but you need to take immediate action to protect yourself. An experienced Los Angeles car accident attorney will review your case and help you determine the appropriate course of action to get justice and compensation.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Los Angeles Auto Accident Lawyer
At El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers, our Los Angeles car accident lawyers are aggressive, committed advocates for justice. If you were hurt in a crash and you have any questions about police reports, we are here to help. Contact us at 213-985-1120 for a free, no-obligation review of your legal case. From our law office in Los Angeles, we provide personal injury representation throughout Southern California, including in Santa Monica, Culver City, Inglewood, West Covina, Cerritos, and Downey.