Filing a car accident report

Written on behalf of Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP

A car accident can lead to a great deal of damage. The best way to ensure you are able to have some form of compensation for the damage incurred is to call the police to report the accident as soon as possible. Additionally, the police will make their own inquiries about the accident, and if it seems you tried to flee the scene of the incident, you could end up being charged with a crime anyway. The other party can also make any sort of claim about your role in the accident if you are not present before the police to narrate your side of the matter.

For all these reasons, the best way forward is to go to the police yourself and make a clear statement of the circumstances of the accident. Filing a police report will help strengthen your case in front of your auto insurance company. In the event of a court case, an attorney can provide a copy of your police report to indicate your cooperative behavior following the accident. The report you file needs to be as detailed as possible. Take notes and photographs of the scene of the accident. Describe what happened, the people who were involved in the accident, and your full name and insurance information.

If there were witnesses, include information about them and if possible, their phone numbers. Be clear about the damage that was inflicted on your car and any injuries that you or the passengers traveling with you suffered. The photos you take should include nearby landmarks, the other vehicle’s plate number and the condition of the road. After the police has taken your statement and submitted the report, they will cite and issue a ticket for any violations you committed. Ask the officer making the inquiries for his or her card and other details in case you need to contact them later.

A copy of the report can be obtained within a few days of its review. Sometimes, the police might not come to the scene of the accident, either because the accident was not serious enough, or there was no loss of life, injury or major property damage. If this happens, you need to go to the police department on your own to make your statement.

After you’ve filed your report and taken care of any medical issues, you may want to talk with an attorney.

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