Car accidents happen so suddenly and are so emotionally jarring that one might be confused on what to do after the fact. The first step is to get medical attention, but it is also important to remember the next vital steps to take afterwards. Contacting the police to file an accident report is crucial. Even if the accident was minor, a police report documents the events officially and will provide valuable information for insurance and medical purposes.
When contacting the police, a victim should provide as much detail as possible. Victims should not spare the smallest details either, every note on the police report can help. There are several details that should be on the accident report, including the following:
- Description of the events
- Driver’s license and insurance information
- Contact information, including the information of all passengers and drivers
- Names and contact information of witnesses and their accounts of the event
- Details of the damage, including injuries
Should I Always File a Report After an Accident?
Even if the drivers’ vehicles have minor damage or there were no injuries, it is still important to contact the police and let them make the decision whether to come to the scene. Some states require drivers to file accident reports while others do not. Even if the police decide to not make a report, a car accident victim could always file one online or at the station.
In some instances, both parties involved may agree to not contact the police or their insurance companies and pay for damages out-of-pocket. This is not recommended and could hurt both parties.
Why is Filing a Police Report Important?
In most car accidents, injuries can occur hours, days, or weeks after the actual incident. If no police report was made, there is no documentation of the incident, which would make it nearly impossible to file an insurance claim or be compensated for any damages sustained.
Just like injuries, cars can begin to show signs of damage days or weeks after accidents. For example, wheel alignment can become eschewed and wear out tires quickly, which may not show up until one pays for repairs.
Also, the other driver could file a report later and falsify information. A victim would also need a police report to file a lawsuit or to go to court.
How Can a Lawyer Help?
After filing the report, a copy should be obtained. A victim may need to provide the report to their auto insurance company, medical insurance company, or lawyer. It can also be helpful to get the reporting officer’s name.
After a police report is filed, it is important to speak to a lawyer. A lawyer will evaluate the case and start a personal injury claim.
Atlantic City Car Accident Lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm Protect Injured Car Accident Victims
A car accident can be very stressful, especially if you were injured in the accident. Our experienced Atlantic City car accident lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm represent car accident victims and help them get compensation. Additionally, we can help you understand your car accident report. Call us at 609-926-3300 or complete our online form for a free consultation. Located in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Atlantic City, Linwood, Galloway Township, Cape May, Vineland, Millville, Bridgeton, Ocean City, and Woodbury.