What To Do If There Is An Accident
Q. What should I do at the scene of an accident?
A. STOP Immediately and move only if it is safe to do so.
- Obtain names, addresses, telephone numbers, and driver’s license numbers from all drivers.
- Obtain license plate and vehicle identification numbers. Ask to see driver’s license and vehicle registration to verify the information is accurate.
- Obtain names, addresses, and telephone numbers of other passengers and any witnesses.
- If you have a camera or a cellphone, take photographs of the damage, and the accident scene .
- If the owner of a damaged car or damaged property cannot be located, leave a note with the names and addresses of the driver and owners of the involved cars.
- Notify your agent and/or your insurance company immediately.
- If anyone is injured or the vehicle damage exceeds $750.00, you must report the accident to the Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days. Failure to notify the DMV may result in the suspension of your driver’s license.
Do You Have To File A Police Report For A Car Accident
No matter who is at fault in a car accident, a traffic accident report will act as an official record of events. It can be used by insurance companies and in a court of law to determine fault and settlements.
Not every state requires a police report for every car accident, but its in your best interest as a driver to file a police report in order to protect yourself.
If you dont call the police right away, you can always report an accident to the police after the fact.
Refer back to this guide to determine how many days after a car accident you have to file a police report. If you need legal guidance, you can enter your ZIP code in the tool below to begin your search for a local car accident attorney near you.
How Long Do You Have To File A Claim Or Lawsuit
You can file a claim or lawsuit only within your state’s liability time limitknown as the “statute of limitations.” Each state has its own statutes of limitations, and there are different time limits for various types of damages, such as bodily injury or property damage.
You should know that your auto insurance policy might say that you should initiate the claims process right away at the time of the incident, or within 24 hours of when the damage to your vehicle was done. But this is not the last word.
However, the shorter time frame stated on your policy is not a requirement, and it does not preclude you or another driver from filing a claim or lawsuit months or even years later, as long as it is within the statute of limitations of the state where the accident occurred. This is because some injuries and mechanical damage are not apparent until days or weeks after an accident occurs.
However, be aware that the longer you wait to file a claim, the harder it might be for you to defend it.
Insurance companies may be suspicious of significantly delayed claims and will investigate whether the damage truly resulted from the covered accident or from a later incident. If they have legitimate reasons to doubt your claim, they may deny coverage.
Typically, auto insurance claims fall under one of two statutes of limitation:
- A time limit for bodily injury claims
- Another time limit for other claims, including property damage , collision damage , and comprehensive damage .
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Peace Law Firm: Offering Highly Competent Caring Representation
After graduating from the University of South Carolina Law School, John Robert Peace founded the Peace Law Firm in Greenville, South Carolina, in 2002. Peace is licensed to practice law in South Carolina and North Carolina.
The Peace Law Firm believes in stepping up for the injured and mistreated. When you hire the Peace Law Firm, you will receive personal attention and superb legal representation. Contact the Peace Law Firm today to schedule a free, confidential consultation regarding your car accident claim.
Filing A Complete Police Report May Support Your Case
You are allowed to file a car accident claim without a police report, but one might be required under certain circumstances. When a police report is required, it must contain specific information which includes:
- The date and time the accident occurred
- Details of all involved vehicles
- Name and contact info of all involved drivers, passengers, and any witnesses
- Name and badge number of police at the scene
- Insurance information for both drivers
When you are the victim of a car accident, you should consider completing a police report even if the accident does not legally require one.
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Disagreeing With Your Insurance Company About Benefits
The situation may arise where you disagree with your insurance company about entitlement to or amount of benefits resulting from an accident. The Financial Services Commission of Ontario has a dispute resolution process to replace court proceedings. The FSCO considers this faster and more effective than lawsuits. The process involves mediation, evaluation, arbitration, and appeals processes, so it is thorough and impartial. Drivers pursuing claims resolution through the FSCO can obtain a copy of the Dispute Resolution Practice Code through the FSCOs website.
What Happens To A Car Accident With No Police Report
A car accident with no police report may still be grounds for insurance compensation or a lawsuit. You may still bring a claim for compensation under the same laws that apply in cases with a police report. You may also look to your insurance or the other partys insurance for compensation. Without a police report, its unlikely that either party will get a traffic ticket or face criminal charges because of the accident. However, you can make your case directly to the insurance company to seek compensation if your insurance policy covers it.
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When To Call The Police
There are two situations in which you really need to call the police. If your claim has anything to do with an accident with another party, the police should come to the scene and file a report. This includes accidents with another vehicle, accidents involving a biker, or accidents involving a bicyclist or pedestrian.
You will also need to call the police and file a report if your vehicle is damaged by vandalism or stolen. A police report must be filed, and the police must see the damage or investigate the theft in order for you to get compensation from the car insurance company.
What Happens If You Fail To Report A Car Accident In Georgia
If your car accident meets the legal criteria above and you did not report the accident, you could face criminal charges.
A victim could claim the crash as a hit and run accident because you drove away and left the scene of an accident. That means fines between $300 and $1,000, drivers license suspension, and up to 12 months in jail. When someone gets seriously hurt or dies from an accident, leaving the scene can mean a felony hit and run charge. A felony charge can result in one to five years of imprisonment.
In addition to the above charges, not reporting an accident can also lead to legal action from an injured victim in the crash. For example, if you caused the car accident and left without reporting it, the injured driver can file a claim or sue you for damages.
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Let Us Help You File Your Claim
Your best chance at a favorable outcome to your accident claim is by having evidence that proves another driver is responsible for an accident that caused your injuries.
Our attorneys are prepared to help you prove another drivers negligence, even if you did not file a police report.
Learn how. Call today at
Find Out When You’re Legally Or Contractually Obligated To Report An Accident
Some of the most common car accidents are minor “fender benders” that do not involve injuries. These accidents can happen in parking lots when cars are backing out from parking spaces, or when driving at an intersection as you’re trying to stop for a red light. Maybe you misjudged your stopping distance and “bumped” the rear bumper of the car ahead of you.
Frequently these accidents do not cause any injuries to the drivers or passengers. However, the collisions can still result in minor property damage to the cars, whether it’s a dented bumper or fender, or scrapes and scratches on the paint.
In those situations, the question often arises, “Do I need to report this type of accident?” There are two entities to which you might report the accident, and different considerations apply to each. Read on to learn more.
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Getting A Copy Of Your Police Report
If the police came to the accident scene, you can get a copy from the law enforcement agency that responded. Similarly, if you did receive a copy but have since lost it, you can ask for another one. If you were transported from the scene with serious injuries, your attorney can help you obtain the police report.
Do you have questions about how to get a copy of the police report from your accident or how to report it to the state? Ask a personal injury lawyer for help.
Talk to the Law Offices of Craig L. Cook
If you are involved in a collision, you should always call 911 to ask for the police to respond. If they dont respond, you should still file an accident report with the state and take other steps to preserve evidence at the scene. If you were injured in a collision caused by someone else, schedule a free consultation with the Law Offices of Craig L. Cook by calling 479-783-8000 , 918-912-2132 , or 479-455-2210 .
Should I File A Claim With My Auto Insurance Or Theirs
You may contact your own insurance provider in order to file a claim. They are the best people who could give you counsel and guide you through the claims procedure. It is suggested to follow their directions for collision reporting and claims. This will help to get the best result for your claim situation.
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Fighting A Low Car Insurance Claim Settlement
The process of battling a car insurance company over the payment of a claim may not be a pleasant experience, especially when fighting a claim settlement that is too low. This is usually because insurance carriers have much more experience and resources at their disposal when dealing with claims compared to the client. However, if you apply the right steps you can successfully obtain what is rightfully yours from the insurance company.
When Should You File A Claim
CarInsurance.org recommends filing an auto insurance claim when the estimated repair costs exceed your out-of-pocket deductible. For most policies, you can choose a deductible from about $500 to $2000. Lets say you have a $1000 deductible and have a minor accident that damages your bumper. If your mechanic quotes you $800 for repairs, you should not file an insurance claim.
According to Credit Karma, you should also consider the increased insurance premium that may result from filing a claim. This may not be a concern if you have an auto insurance policy with accident forgiveness, however.
After notifying the insurance company about the accident, you should take your vehicle to a mechanic you trust for an estimate. Then, do some research to see how much you will pay for coverage after filing a claim, from a source such as the State of Insurance report from The Zebra. Multiply that increase by three and add your deductible. If the result exceeds your estimated repairs, you may want to pay out of pocket.
In some cases, you should always file an insurance claim. Examples include the following:
If you have collision coverage, you can file a claim through this policy if you have significant damage to your vehicle. If you have only liability coverage, you will not receive compensation for repairs in an accident unless another driver caused the crash.
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Navigating The Compensation Process
The process of receiving compensation for your injuries and financial losses can quickly become complicated. It is designed this way by the insurers to discourage people from seeking claims. Sadly, when a person is seeking compensation from the insurer without any legal representation, the process becomes even more difficult for the injured party.
Having quality legal representation by an experienced car accident attorney is always your best option in this type of situation. Your attorney can help relieve the burden of the insurance process so you can focus your attention on your recovery. Your attorney will also help you:
- Obtain the police reports associated with the accident and review the information.
- Contact and interview witnesses to the crash.
- Have an expert accident reconstructionist examine the facts of the accident if there are any questions concerning who was at-fault.
- File any necessary paperwork with the DMV.
- File a claim for compensation with the right insurance company.
- Establish that the insurer is providing you with all the benefits that youre entitled to under the terms of their policy and Nevada law.
- Negotiate the terms of your compensation to ensure that the insurer is being fair with their compensation package.
- File a lawsuit on behalf of the client if negotiations are not favorable to the client.
- Represent the client in Court.
How Long Do I Have To File A Police Report After A Car Accident
You only have so many days to file a police report after a car accident. As AAA notes, the number of days is dependent upon where you live. In most cases, the drivers involved call the police from the scene of the accident, and the responding officers file a report. You dont have to file a report yourself if this occurs.
If you dont call the police from the scene of the accident, you should file a report with your local police department or the agency that has jurisdiction over the accident site.
Whether youre planning on filing a lawsuit or need to make an insurance claim for a car accident, time is of the essence. As the Legal Information Institute of Cornell University notes, this is known as the statute of limitations, any lawsuit arising from an accident or injury must be filed within a specific time frame, or the injured persons legal claim will be barred and their right to sue will be forever lost. Each state has a specific statute of limitations, requiring any personal injury suit be filed in court within a set time after the incident or injury.
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How Do I File A Car Insurance Claim Without A Police Report
A police report gives an official and detailed description of what occurred in the accident. Police reports are required when injuries, major damage, or extenuating circumstances are involved. However, you can act as your own detail-oriented advocate for minor incidents.
In such cases, be sure to write down specifics of the accident and take photos to document the story. Examples of facts to record include:
- Date and time of the accident
- Location of the accident
- Involved individuals and their contact information and driver’s license number
- Insurance information of any other parties involved, including their insurance policy number
- Details of the types of vehicles involved, including license plate numbers and state of registration
- Details of damage
- Environmental factors, such as the weather, time of day, and lighting
- Names and contact information of any witnesses
The process for filing an auto insurance claim with your insurance company is similar whether you have a police report or not. If you have a report, simply give your car insurance provider the name of the police department and report number. If you don’t have a police report to reference, that’s where your detailed account of the event comes in handy and will become part of your claim.
Do You Need A Police Report To File A Claim
The short answer is no you still can file a personal injury claim without a police report. However, without an official report of the accident, youll need to do a great deal more work in proving your claim. In addition, the compensation that you may receive for your medical expenses might be delayed or even reduced.
Why does it help to have a police report? Well, in any any legal case involving an auto accident, a police report provides key evidence an objective, third-party account of the collision. It usually contains immediate details of the scene and damages after the crash, as well as takes into account the points of view all involved parties.
Without a police report, youll need to come up with other evidence that supports your claim.
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Cases When Its Necessary
There are some cases in which getting the police report is necessary for the processing of your claim. In these situations, the police report is required to prove that you have a claim to compensation. These situations include vandalism and theft. If you do not file a police report for vandalism or theft, and you do not provide that police report to the car insurance company, they have no requirement to take your word for it and pay your claim.