If you have recently been in a car accident you may be wondering how many people you have to tell and if you should file an accident report. While you may get away with keeping the incident from your spouse, you cannot really get away with keeping it from everyone. You should always call the police and report your accident. This step is necessary because the police incident report and driver exchange form generated when you call the authorities can come in handy to protect yourself from undue liability. It will also be a critical piece of evidence in any personal injury claim, and it is also necessary if you want to file a claim with your insurance company.
Cover your Assumptions with an Accident Report
Attorneys do this for a living, and when it comes to an automobile accident, you should too. For example, imagine you were in an accident and it was not your fault. You do not call the police, and both you and the other driver leave the scene of the accident. Days later the other driver claims that you were at fault for the accident, and that you should pay for any property damages or medical treatment caused by the accident.
At this point, nobody has any proof. The evidence is your word against the other party’s word. If their injuries are severe enough, you could find yourself responsible for an accident that is not your fault simply because you cannot prove that you did not cause the accident.
Always contact the authorities after an accident and file an accident report to protect yourself from any potential liability.
Key Evidence for Your Personal Injury Claim
Now imagine that you are the party seeking damages. How good is your case if the only evidence of fault you have is your word against the other party’s testimony? It is not solid. While, an accident report cannot be the definitive indicator of fault, it is great evidence of how the accident happened and what the scene looked like just after the collision occurred. You must have that document to make your case against the opposing party.
Negotiating with Your Own Insurance Company
The last reason you absolutely need an accident report about your collision, is that your insurance company will ask you for it. If you need or want your own insurance company to pay for the repairs to your vehicle or indemnify you for any liability you may be responsible for, the company needs the accident report. You may have heard of cases where someone fudged it, and you should always ask, but insurance companies love documents. Do not be caught without the documents you need. The advantages of getting an accident report are worth being grounded or sleeping on the couch. Always report an accident.