Getting involved in a car accident can be a terrifying and confusing experience. It will often leave you in a state of shock, making it impossible to figure out what you should do next. In most cases, the best approach is to report the accident to the authorities and seek justice.
If you’re a victim of a vehicular accident in Arizona, car crash lawyers in Phoenix can help protect your rights. They can also help you seek compensation for the damages you suffered. However, reporting the situation is vital in your financial recovery process. To ensure you understand the proper actions to take in the vehicle crash aftermath, here’s what the law says about reporting accidents.
Is a police report essential?
You may be wondering what’s the point of all this trouble. When you’re already dealing with mental and emotional trauma on top of your physical injuries, it’s understandable if you don’t want to file a report. But, a police report is essential in any situation.
It can help you identify the involved parties to prevent them from avoiding responsibility or denying the accident. Aside from that, a police report also protects you from stingy insurance companies. It serves as evidence to validate your claim. It can even increase your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve.
What information should the police report contain?
The police report must contain specific information about the accident. Generally, this may include:
- Name of all parties involved in the accident
- The precise location where the car accident happened
- Time and date of the accident
- Addresses of each involved person
- Contact information
- The license number of both drivers
- Statement of each driver according to their perspective of the crash
- Name and contact details of witnesses
- Name of the law enforcer who responded to the case and created the report
- Details of the accident and damages that the car sustained
How do you file a report after a car accident?
Now that you understand the importance of a police report in an accident, you may be wondering how you should file one. According to Arizona law, the people involved in the car accident are not required to file the report personally. However, they need to call 911 immediately after the crash.
They will dispatch the police and other emergency services to the location. Upon arrival, the officers will investigate what happened, who was involved, and who was at fault. They will be the ones to file an accident report. In this case, you will have to wait for a few days to get a copy.
When should I report the accident?
You should contact the proper authorities immediately after a car accident. If you’re involved and fail to report it to the police, you may pay a fine or be charged with a hit and run. Even if it’s a minor car accident, you must contact a law enforcer and have them determine whether or not they should create a report.
Under Arizona law, the enforcer handling your case should respond and complete an accident report within 24 hours. However, the situation should first meet specific criteria. The law enforcer can only file a report if the accident resulted in an injury, death, property damages of more than $1000, and issuance of any citation.
It’s also a good idea to inform your insurance provider about the accident as soon as possible. Sometimes, the company will deny coverage for any damages if you don’t report the accident within a day or two. You’ll have to check your insurance provider and review their terms.
What should I do at the scene of the accident?
The Arizona law requires you to stay at the accident scene until law enforcers arrive. Once they reach the location, you must provide them with as much information as possible to thoroughly document the crash. You must provide your name, contact information, and driver’s license.
If you or your loved one gets into a car crash in Arizona, you will likely need a helping hand to handle the whole ordeal. A knowledgeable and experienced car crash attorney can take the burden off of your shoulder. They can assist you in dealing with the law enforcers, negotiating with the insurance company, and ensuring you recover adequate compensation.