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CHP report not ready. What do I do about my car?

The police report for my car accident isn’t ready yet. My car is sitting at a tow yard in Pasadena. I have no information on the other driver. What do I do about my car?

- T.P, California

Answer:

If you have collision coverage under your car insurance policy:

The police report, whether it was done by a police department, a CHP officer or a Sheriff's Department, will take on average seven to ten days until it's ready. In the meantime, if you have collision coverage under your own auto insurance policy, you can go through your insurance on your property damage claim. They will pay the towing bill, the impound fees, and pay for the repair or total loss of your vehicle.

Your auto insurance carrier will request the police report. Once they receive it, if the other driver was at fault for the accident, your insurance carrier will seek reimbursement from the other driver's insurance carrier. If the other driver was uninsured, your carrier will seek reimbursement directly from the other driver.

Regardless of whether your insurance carrier is successful in obtaining reimbursement, you need not worry that your insurance premiums will increase. As long as you weren't at fault for the accident, going through your insurance on your property damage claim will not affect your premiums or renewability whatsoever.

If you have no collision coverage under your car insurance policy:

Without collision coverage under your auto insurance policy, you can either let the vehicle sit at the impound yard until the police report is ready, or you can pay to remove it before then. You will have to pay the towing bill and the impound charges from the date of the accident through the date that you remove the vehicle. Once you get the police report and learn the identity of the at-fault party's insurance company, you can seek reimbursement from them for what you paid.

If it turns out that the at-fault driver was uninsured, you can try to obtain reimbursement directly from the other driver. But the reality is, if they had no auto insurance, they may not have the money to pay you.

If your vehicle is a total loss, you can just leave it at the impound yard. To pay off the impound charges, they will eventually lien sell it.

If you were injured in the car accident, I suggest that you speak with a personal injury lawyer. Our Pasadena personal injury attorneys are available to provide a free case consultation. We will give you our opinion on whether you need a attorney.



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