Collision experts see rise in drivers not filing police reports after accidents

Local

DERBY, Kan. (KSNW) – A Derby collision shop is issuing a warning to drivers to file a police report after an accident, no matter the damage.

James Wilson, the owner of ICS Collision Center, said he’s seen quite a few customers come in who have not filed a police report after an accident.

While it is only a requirement by Kansas law to file a report if the damage is $1,000 or more, Wilson recommends filing one regardless of the damage estimate.

“The police officers came and looked at both my car and [the other driver’s] car and said there was not over a $1,000 worth of damage to my car,” said Brittney Neal.

Neal said officers told her not to file the report, so she didn’t. But, she said she regrets her decision now.

The cost of the repairs turned out to be double the amount of what police predicted.

Wilson said he sees this often and hears how it affects drivers financially.

“The complexity of the newer vehicles, especially in the last five to 10 years has grown exponentially with the on-board computers and sensors,” said Wilson.

Wilson suggests drivers leave the estimates to the professionals, because even minor damage can cost more than you expect or there could be hidden damage in other areas of the car.

Neal wants to use her experience with a car accident as a lesson to others and urges drivers to file police reports for the sake of insurance, repairs, and to have a paper trail just in case.

“It doesn’t cost anything to file a report,” said Neal. “It will make the job of the auto body shop easier. It will give you security.”

KSN spoke with some local police departments, and they said officers are not supposed to advise drivers on whether or not to file a report, and they should allow that decision to be made by the drivers involved.

Collision experts also recommend taking detailed photos after an accident.

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