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How to Report a Car Accident

When you or someone you love has been involved in a motor vehicle collision, it can be overwhelming. There are many important steps to take to ensure that you recover as fully as possible. 

Recovery is especially difficult when your collision resulted in a personal injury. Fortunately, a car accident lawyer can help you pursue the financial compensation you are entitled to. 

It is critical that you secure adequate evidence of your crash. This can include medical records, driver information, and police accident reports. 

Still, you may be uncertain about how to report a car accident. It is helpful to consult with a car accident lawyer if you have questions regarding your legal rights and options. 

You should not be forced to pay the costs that arise from another person’s irresponsible actions. When a negligent motorist causes you physical or financial harm, you have the right to pursue a legal claim. 

Securing the services of a skilled attorney will give you the highest probability of a successful case. The legal team at Morgan & Morgan has a long track record of recovering compensation for our clients. 

We can help report your car accident and seek the financial recovery you need. Do not allow negligent drivers or uncooperative insurance providers to deny you compensation. Fill out the simple Morgan and Morgan online contact form to schedule a free consultation with our team.

What to Do After a Car Crash

When you are involved in a car crash, it is a stressful and nerve-racking experience. Without preparation, many victims do not know what steps to take to protect their own interests. 

In the minutes after a motor vehicle collision happens, take the following critical actions:

Check for Injuries and Call Medical Responders

The most important thing in the aftermath of a car crash is the safety of those involved. As soon as a collision occurs, check yourself and others for signs of injury. 

If you or another person is severely harmed, do not move or attempt to move them. If any injuries have occurred, make sure to call 911 to request an ambulance or other medical responders. 

Even if you do not believe you are injured, it is a good idea to schedule a medical assessment. Some of the most common injuries from collisions do not show symptoms until hours or days after the crash. 

For instance, traumatic brain injury (TBI) victims may display the following symptoms in the weeks after their injury: 

  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Inability to sleep
  • Confusion
  • Memory problems
  • General cognitive deficiencies
  • Unexplained shifts in mood or personality 

Speaking with a physician will also ensure that you can pursue compensation for any accident-related medical costs. A car accident lawyer can help you determine the full value of your tort claim.

Stay at the Scene

This should be obvious, but it is critical that you remain at the scene until the police have arrived to document the crash. In some states and jurisdictions, it is a crime to leave the scene of a motor vehicle crash before law enforcement arrives. 

If possible, move your vehicle out of the road and to a safe location. This will help prevent the possibility of subsequent accidents.

Contact Local Law Enforcement

Calling the police is vital in the moments after a vehicular collision. The reporting officers will draft a police accident report and speak with the drivers involved. 

When you are wondering how to report a car accident, reach out to the local law enforcement office. A police accident report will serve as an important piece of evidence in any resulting tort claim. 

These documents typically contain the following information: 

  • Date, location, and time of the crash
  • Weather conditions at the time of the collision
  • Pictorial diagram of the crash
  • Descriptions of resulting damage
  • Contact information of the involved drivers 

When you hire one of the attorneys at Morgan and Morgan, we will use the police accident report to bolster your claim. These reports present powerful third-party descriptions of the resulting damage. If the opposing party attempts to make fraudulent claims, a police accident report can correct the record.

Exchange Information

Even if no one is injured, you should exchange information with the other drivers involved in the collision. This information will be useful for filing an insurance claim and pursuing a legal case. 

Exchange the following pieces of contact information with the other drivers while waiting for the police to arrive: 

  • Name
  • Phone number
  • Insurance information
  • Email address
  • License plate numbers
  • VIN numbers 

While it is important to trade information, you should not discuss any other elements of the crash. You should never say anything that suggests you are to blame for the collision. 

Even if you believe that your driving caused the accident, you may be wrong. Admitting fault at the scene of the crash may make it impossible for you to obtain the money you need.

Collect Evidence About the Crash

Before you leave the scene, make sure to gather as much evidence as possible. Proving that you are owed compensation will require extensive information about the circumstances surrounding the collision. 

The following pieces of evidence should be obtained before you leave the site of the accident: 

  • Names and contact information of eyewitnesses
  • Eyewitness statements
  • Makes and models of involved vehicles
  • VIN numbers for relevant vehicles
  • Photos and videos of resulting injuries
  • Photos and videos of vehicular damage
  • Detailed descriptions of your firsthand experience 

A skilled tort attorney will leverage this valuable evidence to recover the financial payments you are due. The more information at hand about your motor vehicle collision, the better.

Report the Collision to Your Insurance

Filing a claim with your insurance provider is important after a crash. Doing so can help you cover the expenses arising from vehicular damage and personal injuries. 

Do not attempt to negotiate the value of your claim with an insurance adjuster without the guidance of an attorney. Insurance company representatives are trained to downplay the value of car accident claims. 

Downplaying and devaluing collision claims allows insurers to boost their profits. They decrease their losses by denying every claim possible.

Speak With a Skilled Car Accident Lawyer

It is vital to consult with a legal professional about the facts of your motor vehicle collision. In many cases, accident and injury victims can successfully pursue compensation for the costs and losses they sustain. 

Reputable tort firms will provide you with a no-obligation free consultation to discuss your accident. This initial meeting is an excellent way to decide whether a particular attorney can meet your needs.

It is helpful to ask questions that relate to your case or to the general legal process. This will allow you to understand your options and prospects more clearly. Some useful questions that prospective clients ask during consultations include: 

  • How long have you practiced tort law?
  • Have you handled car accident claims before?
  • What is your rate of success?
  • What is your typical negotiation strategy?
  • Who is legally liable in my accident case?
  • How will my medical bills be handled?
  • What is an appropriate settlement for my claim?
  • How does your firm handle attorneys’ fees?
  • What happens next if I decide to hire you? 

These are only a few examples of helpful questions. Make sure to write down any questions relating to the specifics of your collision claim. 

You should hire only a legal representative you feel comfortable with. If the attorney does not provide satisfactory answers to your questions, keep looking.

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FAQ

Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

  • How to Obtain a Copy of the Police Accident Report in Your Case?

    Police accident reports contain valuable data about your car crash. These documents are useful in determining legal liability and calculating damages in tort claims. 

    In some cases, insurance companies require claimants to obtain a copy of this report before securing payment. You are not legally required to speak with the officer who is drafting the accident report. 

    However, it can sometimes be useful to provide an objective account of your experience. Do not discuss the topic of legal liability. Let your attorney determine which party (or parties) bear legal responsibility for your motor vehicle accident. 

    Before the reporting officers leave the scene of your collision, you should write down their badge numbers, their names, and the accident report number. You can request a copy of the police accident report by calling the local law enforcement office’s traffic division. 

    You can provide the department with the report number and secure a copy of the document. There may be a small fee associated with this request. When you are unsure about how to recover a copy of a police accident report, speak with one of the skilled attorneys at Morgan & Morgan.

  • Should I Contact a Lawyer Quickly After My Accident?

    Yes. There is a legally mandated time limit by which tort victims must file a lawsuit. This time period is known as the “statute of limitations,” and it is determined by state law. 

    Most statutes of limitations for car accident claims are between two and six years. Victims who fail to pursue compensation before this time limit expires will forgo the possibility of compensation. 

    Because of this, you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible after your crash. The accomplished professionals at Morgan and Morgan can help you meet all the legal deadlines in your claim.

  • What Types of Compensation Can I Seek After a Car Accident Injury?

    You can pursue financial recovery for any costs and losses that arise as the result of the liable party’s negligence. The term for these monetary payments is “damages.” 

    Some of the most typical damages in car accident injury cases include: 

    • Lost wages and income
    • Current and expected future medical bills
    • Physical pain and suffering
    • Vehicular and other property damage
    • Emotional trauma
    • Inability to earn income
    • Loss of relationship or consortium 

    It can be challenging to accurately calculate the total value of a car accident claim. A police accident report can help you to determine the full range of damage resulting from a crash. 

    Speak with one of the seasoned litigators at Morgan & Morgan to correctly determine the value of your motor vehicle accident claim.

  • Morgan & Morgan Is Here for You

    When victims need legal representation following a car accident, they should contact America’s largest tort law firm. The compassionate team at Morgan & Morgan does not require payment of attorneys’ fees until we get the money that you deserve. 

    Arrange a free consultation by filling out the easy-to-use form on the Morgan and Morgan website. Let our attorneys fight diligently for you.

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