Do I Have to Report A Car Accident to The Police?
If you’ve got more questions about a recent car accident, contact a car accident lawyer Phoenix, AZ recommends. Many people think getting the police involved will complicate things, but the truth is it may make things simpler. Read on to find out when, why, and how you should report a car accident to the police.
When You Should Make a Police Report
The short answer is always. If there has been any sort of accident, you’ll want the police to make a report. This goes for both minor fender benders and 10 car pile ups. In some states, it is even a requirement to call the police after an accident. So, make sure you stay on the scene and call the police.
Why You Should Make a Police Report
As a car accident lawyer Phoenix, AZ relies on might tell you, it’s smart to contact the police in the event of a car accident, even if local law does not require it. Consider the following:
- Police reports help facilitate insurance claims
- Bodily injuries may not appear for days or weeks
- Damage to your car may not be immediately apparent
- The other party may try to make a false claim about the accident later
- The other party may try to recant their version of events later
A police report is designed to be a non-biased, third-party account of the accident. Contacting the police and creating a report may help support and protect you as the aftermath of the accident unfolds. Plus, the police officer wasn’t in the accident and isn’t experiencing the same intense emotions as you, so they are able to better document details you might forget, like the weather, road conditions, witnesses, etc.
How to Make the Best Police Report
A car accident lawyer Phoenix, AZ trusts can walk you through what usually happens when the police officer arrives at the scene. The officer will make sure the area is secure and safe, call other emergency services if need be, then collect information about the accident. The police will likely collect the following data:
- Date and time the accident occurred — noting if it was dark or if there were other visibility issues
- Personal information from all the parties involved, including name, address, telephone number, and insurance details
- Driver Statements
- Vehicles Damage and Information
- Witness Contact Information
- Witness Statements
- Injuries noted at the scene
- Description of the road or parking lot where the accident occurred
- A drawn diagram of the accident scene
Do You Have to Talk to the Police?
Just because the police show up to the scene of the accident, doesn’t necessarily mean you have to talk to them. As a car accident lawyer Phoenix, AZ endorses might tell you, you can always assert your right to remain silent. Or, you can chat up the police and explain what you experienced. Or, you can simply comply with their request for your driver’s license, registration, insurance, and nothing more. However you choose to communicate, if a police officer shows up to the scene, they will still make an accident report.
If you do decide to talk with the police officer, stick to the facts. The officer’s job is to determine how the accident happened and which party is at fault. They aren’t concerned about how you haven’t eaten lunch yet and you were already having a bad day. Choose your words carefully with the officer and do not admit fault.
The bigger the accident, the more information the police officer will want to collect from the parties involved. A car accident lawyer Phoenix, AZ has faith in might warn you, choosing not to speak with the officer may give off the impression that you have something to hide, which will only cause the investigation to dig deeper.
No matter how much you decide to share, stick to the facts, don’t admit fault, stay calm, and be polite. If you don’t agree with the police officer’s investigation and end up receiving a citation, do not become angry and yell. You can always challenge the ticket through the legal system.
Ask for a Copy of the Report
After gathering information, the police officer will submit their report to the department. That report is often available for you within a week to ten days via the police department. Obtain a copy of the police report as soon as possible. Like any car accident lawyer Phoenix, AZ confides in might attest, if you need to make a personal injury claim, the police report will often be one of the most important documents on hand.
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, contact a car accident lawyer Phoenix, AZ is proud to have fighting on their side, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Kamper & Estrada, PLLC.