If you experience a car accident where another driver strikes you, you probably know that you should wait at the scene of the accident for a police officer to arrive and create an accident report. Accident reports are very useful any time you have to file a claim, whether it is with your own insurer or against another driver.
However, in some cases, police officers may not be able to come to the scene of the accident and create a report. Fortunately, if you collect documentation at the scene, you can create your own accident report and submit it to the police yourself.
If you do choose to create an accident report, or if you think that you may want your own documentation, you should start by gathering as much information and documentation of the accident as you can in the moments after the accident occurs. You can take video of the scene with the camera on your phone to establish the context of the accident and also seek out any security footage from nearby businesses that might have recorded the accident. If you do find security cameras, be sure to ask for the footage as soon as possible before the business discards it.
You should also take pictures of any damage or injuries caused by the accident and record statements from any witnesses. If you do record statements from witnesses, be sure to get their contact information and full name if they will give it to you. In some rare instances, another driver may actually claim fault for the accident right there at the scene. If this does happen, you should record this admission, and if possible, get them to sign a written admission of liability.
Armed with ample documentation, you can easily create an accident report using official forms at the DMV or police station. If you have any further issues proving fault of the accident or pursuing fair compensation for your injuries and losses, an experienced attorney can help you build a strong case and file a claim.
Source: FindLaw, “Tips for Reporting an Accident to Police,” accessed Aug. 18, 2017