After being involved in a motor vehicle collision, whether minor or serious, both parties are required by law to report the accident, either to the police, their insurance company, the DMV, or a combination of the three. An official report can be made at the scene of the accident with the responding police officers, but it is also common for drivers to file their own motor vehicle accident report with one or more of the above-mentioned parties, especially when people are injured as a result of someone’s negligence or disregard.
Although an official car accident report can be made at the scene of the accident with the responding police officers, it is common for drivers to also file their own report when injuries are sustained in serious accidents. These reports are critical to an accident claim, so in the case that either wish to file a personal injury claim to recover compensation for damages and losses, it is important for both the at-fault and the injured parties to fill out them out correctly. The key is to gather as much detailed information as possible so that you can use clear and precise language to describe the incident in as much detail as possible.
Continue reading to learn some helpful tips for filling out a car accident report, and who you can trust with your car accident personal injury claim.
After Being Involved in a Car Accident:
IF SOMEONE IS HURT, SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION FIRST.
Once medical personnel and law enforcement arrive and injuries are stabilized, it is safe to move forward with exchanging information and filing a report.
Here’s how to start:
Exchange insurance and drivers’ license information with the other driver. Regardless who is at-fault, both parties need to swap personal information. Write down all the data in their drivers’ license and car insurance cards, including the phone number to their insurance provider. If the other driver does not have insurance, you need to call the police and have them come to the scene. If there are passengers in their vehicle, ask them for their contact information as well in case you need to use them for witness testimony later on. Do this for any bystanders that witnessed the accident as well.
Take down the driver’s vehicle information. Write down the licensing state, license tag number, make, model, year, color, and the VIN (vehicle identification number). Be sure to note whether it is a car, truck, sedan, van, motorcycle, or sports utility vehicle. Next, write down the damage that has occurred to the other driver’s vehicle. Be specific and use as much detail as possible. Note any existing damages that were not a result of the accident as well.
Gather evidence of the scene. Use your camera phone to record the scene of the accident. Take as many pictures as you can of the other people involved, cars, the damage, debris on the road, weather conditions, road conditions, lighting, surrounding traffic signals and signs, traffic lights, and more. Record anything that has to do with the accident using multiple angles. It is important to take pictures of the other driver and their passengers in case they seem fine at the scene, but then try to claim injuries later on. Take pictures of your own injuries, if any, as well. If you do not have a camera, just write everything down in detail. In fact, it is also wise to make out a sketch of the scene, detailing the location and the surroundings.
Take down the numbers of first-responder vehicles and the technicians. Write down names, numbers, badge numbers, and vehicle numbers of the EMT’s, ambulances, and fire trucks. You can also take the squad car and badge number of the responding officers. This information may be pertinent in the process of an injury or insurance claim.
Take notes of what happens after the accident. Keep detailed records of what took place after the accident. This includes how the cars were cleared and transported, how much damage was done to the vehicle, the extent of automotive repairs and costs, as well as, the progress of your injuries and medical needs. Retain all personal notes, medical charts, invoices, and more.