What Not To Do At The Accident Scene
Getting into a car accident can be a shock. Its important for you to stay calm, avoid arguing with the other driver, and handle the situation properly. Don’t do this :
- Take responsibility or assume liability in any way
- Agree to pay for the damages
- Agree to forget about the accident
- Accept money or any form of settlement
Filing A Police Report
You should be aware that contacting the police does not mean that you are making an insurance claim. It just means that you are making the authorities aware of the situation so they can document all the relevant information that could be useful later on.
It is possible for the parties involved to come to a financial agreement themselves, without involving the police, but this is not a recommended route to take. You may be at risk if you decide to do this, and there is no way of knowing if the other party is sincere.
Filing an accident report will provide your insurance company with details that they can use to decide who was at fault for the accident, and it can be really beneficial for your case if you do decide to file a lawsuit against the other driver.
You should not leave the scene of the accident until the police have finished taking their report, and this report will help to protect you against any legal issues that may arise later on. The police can actually help submit the report to the DMV if you would like them to.
Police Officer Writes Car Accident Report
A police officer will likely record the following information in an accident report:
- Date and time of the accident
- Diagram of the accident scene
- Description of the accident location
- Description of visibility and weather conditions
- Personal information, insurance details, and statements of all involved parties
- Witness contact information and statements
Make sure you write down the officers name and badge number so you can follow up if needed.
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Our Rock Hill Car Accident Law Firm Can Help You
If you have never been involved in a car accident before, then the aftermath of the crash can be a confusing time. If you have any questions about your legal rights and options or about the steps you should take, including reporting the accident, you should contact McKinney, Tucker & Lemel, LLC, as soon as possible. We have been helping car accident victims and their families in Rock Hill and surrounding areas for many decades. We can provide a timely and free consultation about your case.
What Should You Do If You Are Involved In A Minor Accident
South Carolina law does not require all accidents to be reported. If there is no real damage to property, and no one is injured in the crash, then you and the other driver can certainly go about your day. This is what people typically call a minor accident or fender bender.
However, even in this situation, you should think twice before you let the other driver leave the scene without calling the police first. The decision could come back to haunt you.
For instance, what happens if the other driver changes his or her mind and decides to file an insurance claim against you? Without a police report, it will be difficult for you to challenge the drivers version of events. Or, what happens if you develop symptoms of a serious injury in the hours or days after the accident? Without documentation of the accident, an insurance company may deny your claim for payment of medical bills, lost wages and other damages.
So, as a general rule, you should report even a minor accident to the police. You will protect your rights and interests by doing so.
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The Basics Of A Police Report
A police report tells what happened in an accident. It tells what the officer saw and learned about the event. It also states the officer’s opinion. You need this report to protect yourself after an accident. You also need it to talk to your insurance company and get payment quickly. Even though insurance companies have their own investigators, they use police reports to learn more about the accident.
Police reports are for accidents that happen on public roads. Police don’t usually investigate accidents on private property unless someone is hurt or breaking the law. You’ll have to write down the details about a fender bender that happens in your friend’s driveway or in a parking lot.
What’s In A Police Report
A police report for a car accident lists both facts and opinions. Facts are things like the location and date. Opinions are what the officer thinks happened and who caused the accident, if anyone. These reports are legal documents that your insurance company can use to decide if you get money and how much. A court can also use them, so you need to understand what they say.
Read the report to make sure all the details are right. Every now and then, the officer writes down the wrong street or time. Make sure the weather is also in the report. Insurance companies care if a driver loses control on a snowy morning or a clear summer afternoon.
Check the information about the other driver. Does their license say they wear glasses? If they weren’t wearing them, that could help your case a lot. If other people were riding in any of the cars, you need their personal information, too. What they saw and remember can help prove what happened.
Police should also talk to the people standing nearby for the report. Since they don’t know anybody in the accident, courts usually see what they say as true. Sometimes people who didn’t see everything guess about what happened. This is why the officer should ask them what they actually saw, not what they think happened.
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How Long After A Car Accident Can You File A Police Report
After a car accident, do you know exactly what youre supposed to do next? Amid the chaos of exchanging information, calling insurance companies, and seeing the doctor, it can be easy to forget and lose track of what youre legally required to do. When it comes to police reports, there tends to be a lot of confusion about whether its necessary to report the accident and have one filled out or not.
In the state of New York, youre legally obligated to fill out a police report after a car accident. While there are a few exceptions to this rule, our best car accident lawyers in Buffalo explain everything you need to know when it comes to filing a police report for your car accidents in the state of New York:
Information About The Location Of The Accident
Some of the key pieces of information about the location of the accident that must be included on a Vehicle Crash Report include:
- The name of the road on which the accident occurred
- The speed limit on the road where the accident occurred
- The name of the intersection where the accident occurred or the name of the nearest cross street, bridge, or railroad crossing
- The distance of the accident site from the nearest city or town
Do Police Reports Impact Insurance
Contrary to popular belief, car accident police reports will not impact your insurance companys assessment of the car accident. It is up to your insurance provider to determine who is at fault for an accident and whether or not you will see an increase in your car insurance rates.
Learn more by reading At Fault Accidents and Insurance In Ontario.
Call 911 & Get A Police Report
State laws require that you call the police if anyone is injured or if property damage exceeds a certain threshold. You may also need a police report when you file your insurance claim. If you need to, be politely persistent with the other driver and the police officer that you would like a written statement. Write down the following information:
- The officers name
- The officers badge number
- The officers phone number
- The police report number
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Is It Illegal To Not Report A Car Accident
In Michigan, yes and no. Yes, it is illegal to not report a car accident to the police if the accident resulted in death, injury or property damage of $1,000 or more.
But, no, it is not illegal to not report a crash to the police if none of the above resulted from the crash. Michigan law imposes no general reporting requirement under these circumstances.
Its worth noting that , Michigan law imposes no penalty on people who fail to comply with the reporting requirement for crashes that result in death, injury or property damage of $1,000 or more.
How Long After An Accident Do You Have To File A Police Report In South Carolina
After a car crash in South Carolina, most people go through a period of great physical pain and emotional turmoil. They may face doctors visits, vehicle damage appraisals and issues involving towing and storage bills. They may also face lost time from work. These issues can build until they become overwhelming. One item that victims may overlook during this difficult period is whether they need to file a police report or any other report. Heres what you should know:
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The Police Report As Evidence Of Your Claim
If you have a personal injury claim, you are probably going to need to obtain a copy of the police report.
You will need a copy of the police report to investigate and evaluate your claim. You also need it so you know what testimony to expect from the police officers who responded to the accident.
Nevertheless, you cannot use an accident report as evidence at trial, because Colorado law considers accident reports to be inadmissible hearsay.
Instead, you are expected to testify personally, and you can call a police officer as a witness at trial. That way, both parties have a chance to cross-examine anyone making statements about the accident.
Insist On A Police Investigation And Report
In many cases, there are no witnesses and you and the other driver may have conflicting versions of how the accident happened. If you do not request a police investigation, you may seriously damage your chances of obtaining full compensation, or worse, may be blamed for an accident that is not your fault. Thus, if an accident is not your fault, insist that the police are called. This ensures that all involved drivers will be forced to document how the crash occurred before having time for reflection. If the at fault driver does not want the police called, insist that they write up an admission of fault for you right at the scene which describes how the crash occurred and their responsibility for it. This should be dated and signed by them, and should refer to the location and time of the crash. If they refuse, call the police! In the State of Washington, however, the Police are not required to do a report when there are no injuries and none of the vehicles involved has more than $700 of property damage. They are also not required to prepare a report if the collision occurs on private property, such as in a parking lot.
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How Do I File A Police Report After My Accident
Once youre safe and away from the scene of the accident, call the local police. The information that you provide is what goes into the accident report. Once youre notified that the report is ready, youll have to submit it to the DMV within ten days of the accident. The local police station will be able to provide you information on how to retrieve the report. If you learn that the other driver involved in the accident has already filed a police report, youll still need to have one filed for yourself.
If you sustained severe injuries that leave you unable to file a police report, a passenger who was with you during the accident can file the report instead. If you didnt have a passenger with you and youre incapacitated, then someone close to you like a friend or family member can file the police report on your behalf. Keep in mind that the owner of the vehicle is ultimately the one responsible for filing a police report.
Alberta Car Accident Stats
Alberta traffic collisions are common. There are about 385 collisions in the province each day. These are just the reported collisions. In 2015 alone, there were :
- 140,705 collisions
Where and how do car accidents in Alberta happen?
- 84.1% occur in urban areas 15.9% in rural areas
- 26.4% are intersection related
- 3.4% of accidents involve a driver who has been drinking 0.3% impaired by drugs
- 25.7% of drivers in fatal collisions were reported as travelling at an unsafe speed
- Saturday recorded the most fatal collisions at 53 and Friday recorded the most injury collisions at 2,288
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How Long Do You Have To Report A Car Accident
Pennsylvania allows 5 days for you to report a car accident to law enforcement within five days of the accident. However, in most cases, you will want to call the police while on the scene of the crash to file a report.
The responding officers can assess the scene, get statements from drivers, passengers, and witnesses, document other evidence, and determine the cause of the accident. They may even assess fault and issue tickets for a violation of any traffic laws. The officers will include any citations in the report.
Do The Police Have To Fill Out A Car Accident Police Report
Yes. If youre involved in any of the types of crashes described above i.e., where someone is killed or injured or there is property damage of $1,000 or more then the officer to whom you report the crash must fill out and file a police report.
The report that the officer will complete is called a UD-10 Traffic Crash Report.
On the other hand, if youre involved in a fender-bender on private property or in a mall parking lot and no one is hurt and the property damage is less than $1,000, then they are not obligated to fill out an accident report.
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How To Report A Car Accident To The Police
If you get into a severe auto wreck, youll quickly be put into a situation that requires important decision-making, like calling emergency services. And youll have to take action at a time when you may be in shock and full of adrenaline.
It can be difficult to remember everything you need to do after a car wreck, but one of the most important takeaways is this: Its very important to contact the police after an auto collision. If insurance denies your claim, the information in a police report could be the key to your case, and it can be difficult to file a police report days after an accident.
Here, well go through how to report an accident to the police, what happens if you dont report a car accident, how long it takes to get a police report after an accident, and more important tips for successfully working with law enforcement to improve your case.
How Do You Obtain A Copy Of Your Police Accident Report In Rock Hill
Once the officer who responded to your crash completes his or her investigation, the officer will submit a TR-310 form, or Traffic Collision Report, to the DMV. South Carolina law requires the officer to submit this form within 24 hours after the officer completes the investigation.
The police officers report will contain helpful information about your accident, including when the accident happened, where it happened and the names and addresses of every driver involved. It will also include the officers description of the sequence of events leading to the crash and the officers assessment of the factors that likely contributed to it.
To get a copy of the report, you can submit the Request for Officers Report to the DMV. You should try to include the following on the form:
- Request date
- Your name and mailing address
- Date when your accident happened
- County where the crash occurred
- Names and drivers license numbers of all drivers involved.
You will need to mail two copies of the form and a check or money order for $6 to:
SCDMVP.O. Box 1498Blythewood, S.C. 29016-0040.
You can also go in person to the local DMV branch to fill out and submit the FR-50 form, or you can ask for a copy of the crash report from the law enforcement agency that prepared it.
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How Much Time Does The Insurance Company Give You
Auto insurance policies often stipulate that you should report accidents âpromptly,â which is vague but basically means you should report an accident as soon as you can, sometimes even while youâre still at the scene. To find out how long your specific insurance actually gives you to report, check your policy or contact your provider directly.
Your insurer might require you to notify the police within a certain amount of time, often 24 hours, after an accident.
Your insurer may even have a mobile app that helps you document the accident and prepare to file a claim either with them and with the other partyâs insurance company. But donât worry if they donât have a way to do it easily online, you should still call your provider and report an accident right away so you can get the process started.
Then, after youâve reported an accident to your insurer, youâll have some time to file resulting claims. Many major insurers stipulate that you have as long as two or three years to file a claim under certain types of coverage. Again, check your policy or check with your provider to find out how long you have to file any claims after an accident. However, bear in mind that after youâve filed a claim, your provider might give you a much shorter deadline, sometimes 30 days, by which you have to submit all documents related to that claim.