According to recent trends, drivers are driving more miles on a regular basis which, in turn, leads to car accidents and car accident injuries to increase.
However, countless people aren’t sure what to do or where to turn after they’re involved in a car accident. One question we often get from clients is whether or not it’s important to have the police come to the scene after an accident.
The answer is always yes.
After a car accident, your first step should be to contact the police as soon as it is safe to do so. Continue reading to learn more about why you need to file a police report after a car accident in Mobile, AL.
What Should You Do After an Accident?
Once you contact the police after an accident, keep these tips in mind to protect your legal rights and any compensation you may be entitled to receive:
Tip #1 – Document Everything Related to Your Accident
The police report can play a significant role in determining who is responsible, but it’s also important that you document everything yourself even after you leave the scene of the accident. This can include photographs of the accident scene and your injuries, copies of medical bills, and any missed time from work.
Tip #2 – Seek Medical Attention
With some injuries, symptoms may not arise immediately after your accident. Even if you don’t feel any pain right after the wreck, be sure that you’re evaluated by a medical professional. Waiting to seek medical attention until after you leave the scene can hurt your claim.
Tip #3 – Inform Your Insurance Company
Even if the accident was not your fault, you should still inform your personal insurance company that you were involved in a collision.
How to File a Police Report
After reporting your accident to authorities, a police officer will come to take the statements of everyone involved in the crash and talk to any witnesses. While you are waiting for an officer to arrive, you can take photos and write down your memory of what happened to ensure your statement is as detailed as possible.
When they arrive, officers will often have a standard set of questions they may ask to ensure they are recording all of the vital information your report may need. Relay any important information in as much detail as you can recall.
Once the officer has finished recording the information they need, you should ask for the report reference number, as well as the name, phone number, and badge information of the officer filing the report. Do not leave the scene until the report is finished and you have your report reference number.
What Does a Police Report Contain?
A police report consists of important information related to your incident. For a vehicle accident, a police report may include:
- The date and location that the accident occurred. The report should include the specific time, day, month, and year. It will contain details about the location, such as road markers and weather conditions.
- Information about the drivers and their vehicles. This includes the contact information of each driver, such as their name, phone number, date of birth, driver’s license number, and address. The report will also list details about the vehicles involved, such as year, model, and color.
- Statements from any witnesses. In some cases, it can be difficult to remember details that can point to who is responsible for causing an accident. Witness statements, which may be included in the police report, can help bring clarity to what happened and who should be held responsible.
- Violations of the law. Some accidents are caused by another driver’s failure to obey traffic laws. If this is the case, the report may contain information that states if any of the drivers involved received a citation.
How Can a Police Report Support Your Claim?
Many people hesitate to involve the police after a vehicle accident. This is a mistake that can not only reduce your chances of receiving the compensation you may need down the road but may also be against the Alabama law that requires a report.
While your car accident attorney and the insurance company will negotiate your compensation amount, a police report can help you recall vital details that could help you receive the compensation you deserve. Your attorney can use the report to help support your case and use the details to prove that the other party was responsible for your injuries.
This is one of the main reasons our team recommends you always contact the police after a vehicle accident and obtain a copy of the report.
Alabama State Law Requires a Police Report
In the state of Alabama, drivers involved in a collision are required by law to have a police report filed if:
- The accident involved a personal injury.
- The accident resulted in a fatality.
- The property damage exceeds $250.
It is nearly impossible to determine what injuries and damages may come from an accident while at the scene. Car issues and painful injuries can arise days later, so it is still in your best interest to contact the police.
Were You Injured in an Accident? We Can Help.
At Long & Long, we understand car accidents are stressful, especially when you’re facing increasing medical bills, painful injuries, and you’re unable to work. Our legal team is passionate about helping injured people fight for their legal rights so they can move forward with their lives.
If you or a loved one was injured in an auto accident in Mobile, AL as a result of a careless driver, contact our law office at (251) 432-2277 or fill out our online form. From the police report to the settlement negotiations, we’ll guide you through every step of your accident claim.