What to do to file a police report after an accident for facilitating claim filing for personal injury?

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In order to protect all parties involved in a car accident in the USA, it is crucial to call the police for filing a police report that documents all incidents and events related to the accident. Despite the frightful and stressful experience that you go through after the accident, you must maintain your cool and then take the first step towards filing a personal injury claim. Moreover, the presence of police can diffuse the tension between the parties involved in the accident that can otherwise escalate and complicate matters. The police can also arrange for medical treatment of the injured persons by rescuing them from the spot of the accident. Even if you fear to earn a ticket for the incident, you must call the police. The insurance company would ask for the police report, and you cannot do without it.

Things to do

 After taking the first step, you can talk to the other parties to collect their personal details like names, addresses, and phone numbers, including that of the other driver involved in the accident. Next, contact a personal injury lawyer from some law firm like Dennis Hernandez law firm to take up your case for filing a claim for personal injury. With the purpose of documenting the incident, you must arrange for a police report no matter how minor the incident might be so that what happened exactly is on record. Sometimes, more damages, both physical and medical, come to the surface that is not apparent initially.  The police can accurately record the facts, so that prevents distortion of facts later by any party.

Police report paves the way for claiming compensation

The police report is just the basic document you need to file for personal injury claim as all parties involved in claim settlement from insurance settlers to judges and jury will call for it. Even if you are not filing a claim for personal injury but approach your insurance company seeking compensation for damages covered by your own insurance policy then also you need the police report. The police report helps insurance companies to understand the case based on the accurate crash report. Even if you face any legal problems later, the police report should help to protect you from the possibilities of the other party trying to distort facts. The police can submit the report to you or DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) as required. In the absence of the police report, you cannot expect any compensation as it is a requirement in most states and insurance companies would surely ask for it.

Let the police decide

For some reasons the police officer might not be available when you call them, and they may not come to the spot of the accident. The laws of some state do not require police to go to the scene of the accident if the value of property damage is too low.  In such cases, you must make it amply clear to the police that you need them at the scene of the accident as there are injuries to people and leave it on to them to decide whether to come or not. Based on your description of the accident, the police will then take a call. In case there are no injuries, and the damages are minor, the police may not come at all. If the police are preoccupied with some other public disaster, it might not be possible for them to come to the scene of the accident. 

However, you must always inform the police because it is your duty and leave it on them to decide. If the police do not come, then, you must record the incident in as much detail as possible by taking notes of what happened and the damages that it caused.

What information you must collect

If the police are unable to come to the scene of the accident, you must seek their guidance in recording the incident by knowing what kind of information to record. They can help you with an information checklist or a car accident form. Take down the name of the person you spoke to so that it can be useful later for citing in the court or for settlement.

You must capture as many details as possible about how the accident happened and the resulting damages including injuries to people, whether minor or major as well other damages to the vehicles and property.  Besides taking pictures, you can make video and audio recordings as necessary about the location, damages, and versions of witnesses and third parties to establish what happened at that time. Talking to witnesses and collecting their contact details and consent to stand beside you when called for is one of the most important tasks. 

Based on the information collected, you must file your report to the police as soon as you can. The report becomes the most important document in determining who was at fault because only if the other party is faulting that it becomes their responsibility to compensate you financially.

Actions that the police will take on hearing about the accident

The primary responsibility of police after arriving at the scene of the accident is to protect the parties involved and ensure their safety first. They will first make the area safe for traffic and call any emergency service besides arranging for medical care of the injured. Next, they will start talking to people around including those involved in the accident as well as witnesses to take down all information that helps to recreate the incident to understand exactly how it happened. Depending on the findings, they can issue tickets to the drivers for violation of traffic rules. After talking to witnesses and being satisfied that they have collected exhaustive information by questioning people who were at the spot or nearby and have seen the accident happen they would compile the report that becomes the base document for subsequent actions.

Obtain the direct contact number of the police officer who is responsible for creating the report so that you can try to add some details that you discover later and try to incorporate it in the report.

September 4, 2019 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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