Why You Should Always Ask for a Car Accident Report
One of the first steps you must take in the moments following a car accident is to call the police. Why? The information they provide in their report is critical to the development of a reliable personal injury or property damage claim. Your job after a collision is to gather as much evidence of the event as possible, recording every possible detail to support your proof of innocence in the crash.
A police report can be the element that becomes the deciding factor in whether you receive a compensation award or not, especially if your insurer cannot achieve a reasonable settlement. To learn more about the criticality of a car accident report for your claim, continue on to the details below.
The Importance of a Car Accident Report
A car accident police report contains all observable details of the scene of an auto collision. Although you might feel that you can cover the collection of all the necessary information, a police report offers a level of objectivity that, unfortunately, an insurer or legal team will not recognize from your documentation alone. Further, in certain areas, the law requires that any motorists that are involved in a car crash fill out an dui attorney report. The form you must complete in adherence to this legislation is known as the DMV-349.
The following details will be included in your auto collision report:
- Personal information of all parties involved in the accident. (This includes names, addresses, phone numbers, and driver’s license numbers, primarily.)
- Insurance details of all involved parties.
- Contact information of all witnesses.
- Details of where all parties were seated or otherwise positioned during the crash.
- Make, model, year, and VIN (vehicle identification number) of all vehicles involved.
- An illustrative diagram of the scene of the accident, from the recording officer’s perspective.
- A description of the environmental conditions at the time of the crash.
- An account of the specific events leading to the crash.
This wealth of information will serve as an incomparable asset to your claim. The officer responsible for writing the document may even attend the hearing and testify in support of your case against the negligent driver. Although they will not have a final word in the determination of liability, the officer’s records and perspective often prove to be one of the prominent deciding factors in the resolution of a car accident lawsuit.
When You’ll Need to Fill Out a Car Accident Report
A police report will always be useful in filing a claim after your accident. For this reason, it should always be one of the first steps you take to gather evidence after the crash. Still, it is not always legally required. The cases in which it is a lawful obligation to fill out a car report, aside from the state legislation mentioned above, are as follows:
- The incident resulted in wrongful death.
- An individual was injured in the crash.
- The collision resulted in $1,000 or more in property damages.
- A vehicle was seized and subsequently forfeited.
- A seized vehicle was damaged in the crash.
Once you have submitted a car accident report, contact a lawyer right away. This legal guidance, along with the details in the report, can serve to make a remarkable difference in your ability to gain compensation for your incurred damages.
To explore your legal options following a car accident, get in contact with a accident attorney today.