Updated: Dec 17, 2019
If you've been involved in an auto accident or were the victim of a crime, it can be hard to know what to do next, especially if you've been injured or are worried about your safety. Most likely, one of the first steps you'll take is to file a police report while the details of the incident are still fresh on your mind.
The Purpose of a Police Report
A police report kicks off an investigation, whether into a fender bender or a crime perpetrated against someone. Sometimes law enforcement can also provide insight or observe details that you might miss due to being shaken up by the crime or accident.
Why File One?
In the case of a car accident, especially a minor one, you might not think you need to contact the police. But it's usually a good idea -- and sometimes it's the law -- to have a record of the incident. If injuries or damage show up later, they can be much harder to prove without a report on file. Insurance companies also typically want to see official accident reports for claim purposes.
When to File
If you're the victim of a crime, you should know that many crimes have a statute of limitations, which puts a time limit on when charges can be filed. Nonviolent crimes such as theft usually have shorter statutes of limitations, while more severe offenses might not have a statute of limitations at all.
Either way, it's important to file as soon as possible. Please reach out if you have questions.