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How Long Do You Have to Report an Accident to the Police?

If you are involved in a car accident, even a relatively minor one, it’s important to report the accident to the local authorities immediately. There are multiple reasons for this, which we will explain in this article. 

At Local Accident Reports, the goal of our nationwide car accident attorneys is to support personal injury victims and protect their right to compensation by providing compassionate and knowledgeable legal guidance in the aftermath of car accidents and other incidents that cause injury to the involved people. 

We offer a free initial case review, and our attorneys operate on a contingency fee schedule, so you pay nothing out of pocket unless we deliver a win. Contact us to learn how we can help you after a serious vehicle accident. 

How Much Time Do I Have to Report an Accident to the Police?

How Long Do You Have to Report an Accident to the Police?Filing a report with your local law enforcement department needs to be done immediately, or as close to it as possible, after a car accident. This is especially true if deaths, injuries, or serious damages occur. Just like an auto insurance claim, the official deadlines for filing police reports vary from state to state. For instance, police reports in Louisiana have to be filed right away, while Tennessee gives you 20 days to do so.  When you file your insurance claim, your insurance agent will almost certainly request a copy of your police report. In other words, the sooner you report your car accident, the quicker the insurance claims process can begin. 

How Much Time Do I Have to Report an Accident to My Insurance Company?

The requirements for reporting a car accident to your insurance company differ by state. Every state sets its own deadline for filing a claim for an accident. These deadlines can also change based on the unique circumstances of each case. For instance, the deadline for filing a claim of bodily injury could very well be shorter than one involving property damage or a comprehensive claim. Your car insurance company may also have its own claims filing protocols. Knowing how much time you have to file can help you figure out whether you can resolve the claim through your insurance company or if you will have to come out of pocket for repairs.  

Why Would Someone Delay Filing a Police Report or Claim?

Even after a serious car accident, some damages might not be immediately obvious, instead showing up only after several days or a week have passed. This is especially true when you sustain certain injuries, like a brain injury or internal bleeding. Adrenaline during the accident may mask pain, resulting in a delayed realization that something is wrong. If you did not file a police report immediately and then later discover additional problems resulting from the accident, it could be very challenging to prove that they were caused by the incident itself. Filing a police report immediately will help to establish that the accident did indeed happen. Going to get medical care immediately after the accident can help relate your injuries to the accident as well. 

Call Local Accident Reports Today

If you were injured in an accident that was not your fault, you could be entitled to recover damages for your hospital bills, lost wages, and more. The nationwide car accident attorneys at Local Accident Reports can help you ensure that you obtain fair and just financial compensation that covers your physical and emotional losses. Give us a call at (888) 657-1460 to schedule your free case evaluation and learn what legal course of action the attorneys at Local Accident Reports recommend for your situation.

Our thoughts are with everyone who has been affected by this accident.

If you or a loved one were injured in this incident, you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Having your case evaluated by a lawyer immediately will ensure your rights are protected. The first step is to request a police report, and we can do that for you. 

Contact us today at


to get the help you deserve. 

Local Accident Reports is here to provide you with valuable resources after you have been injured in an accident. In addition to your free police report, you can also schedule a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys right now to find out more about pursuing compensation. If you any have questions at all about your legal rights following an accident, please don't hesitate to call. 

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Note: These posts are created solely for the use of Local Accident Reports. We have not verified the information in these posts as the information is gathered from secondary sources. If you have personal knowledge that the information contained in these posts is inaccurate, please contact Local Accident Reports immediately so we can make the necessary corrections or remove the story.

Disclaimer: We are providing this information to the general public as a resource to use in the event you or a family member are injured in a similar incident. Every effort is put forth to honor the victims of accidents, and hope the information presented helps others avoid the same type of accidents in the future. The photos depicted in these posts are not representative of the actual accident scene. Please contact Local Accident Reports at (888) 657-1460 to be connected with an attorney in your area who will answer any legal questions you may have.

Harvey Barbee is our chief content writer who also has nearly 15 years of experience as a practicing attorney. Combining his skillset as a strong writer along with his in-depth knowledge of the legal system, Harvey uses his talents to write informative pieces for law firms about a variety of topics that affect individuals. He enjoys helping people find creative solutions to their legal problems. When he is not writing or practicing law, Harvey enjoys golf, gardening, and spending time with his family in North Carolina.

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