Reporting an Accident to Police
When car accidents occur, usually stress kicks in as well. It is very easy to get overwhelmed in the situation, especially when you want to make sure you do everything right. It is important to understand WHY and HOW to successfully report the car accident.
Why is it Important to Report a Car Accident?
If there is any damage to your vehicle, or any injuries that you have sustained; you will want to get that taken care of immediately. Sometimes people say they are willing to pay cash up front to avoid the reporting to police of incident, but that isn’t going to actually be in your favor and could make matters more difficult down the road. People lie and they give out false information to you, and even if it seems legit at the moment, you might run into trouble later. When the police arrive they will take care of the swapping and verifying of insurance, which is a huge relief off of you when you have other things to worry about.
Injuries don’t always set in immediately upon accident. You might feel some soreness, but you might dismiss it as not that bad and thinking that it will subside. Often times the next couple of days is when you start to feel just how sore you are, or that you have an injury. If you wait too long or decide not to report, you could find yourself in a situation where you are having to pay for your own medical bills.
How to Properly Report a Car Accident to Police
There are a few steps you should take to report the accident to the police and to your insurance.
- STAY CALM: At least try to. It is going to be okay, and you’ll have time to process later.
- DO NOT ADMIT FAULT: Don’t talk much about the accident and whose fault is who.
- MAKE SURE: Everyone is safe from traffic, and in a spot where they can breathe.
- DON’T AGREE: Not to report. You should and need to report it.
- TAKE PHOTOS: Maybe jot down some notes from your memory of what happened and any some details that might need to be remembered later.
- IF ANYONE IS HURT: Do not move them. Only move them if they are in danger.
- CALL THE POLICE: File a report.
- SWITCH: Information, Anything essential.
- IF THERE IS A WITNESS: Get their information too.
- CONTACT: Your insurance company. You’ll want all the information on hand with you and to file it as quickly as possible post accident.
When the police arrive it is best to also take note of their information.
- The officer’s name.
- Officer’s badge number.
- Officer’s phone number.
- Police report number.
A fender bender may result that you only call your insurance companies and if both insurance companies do not think that there needs to be police involved, than you can make that decision then. Only agree if the following are true.
- No one is injured.
- Damage is minor.
- The OTHER driver ACCEPTS BLAME, and has insurance.
- You get the other driver’s insurance information.
- YOU have talked to both of the insurance companies, everyone is on the same understanding, and both of the agents have told you that you have done and have everything that you need. You will also want to get the claim number of the insurance from the driver.
This is very important that all steps are checked off. In the state of Arizona, over $300 dollars in damages is considered as a need to report.
Car accidents can be scary and shake you up, but knowing that you have a plan of attack to best handle the situation can bring a sense of peace. Know what you need to do, and know your rights. Then make sure you have the right accident lawyer to help you with anything that doesn’t go right, and if matters start to get worse.