After you experience a car accident, whether you’re a driver, bicyclist or pedestrian, it is wise to call the police. This helps you in a number of ways. First a police officer who responds to the scene will create an official police report about the accident, which is often very helpful when pursuing a personal injury claim.
Secondly, calling the police may, in some cases, save you from unsavory legal consequences for fleeing the scene of an accident. In general, it is always best to call the police after an accident, especially if the accident resulted in injuries.
But what if an officer cannot come to the scene of your accident? There are many reasons why police may not make it out to the scene. Perhaps your accident is on private property, like a parking lot. Perhaps the police have their officers spread across a number of different incidents and patrols and cannot make time for your accident. If a police officer does not create an accident report, what should you do?
The good news is that it is possible for you create an accident report on your own and file it with the police. If you face creating a police report for the accident, you may have a pretty serious perennials injury claim at stake. Be sure to speak with an attorney who can help you evaluate the strengths of your claim and understand how to protect your rights throughout the process.
Gather as much information as possible
Creating a report is usually only as useful as the information within the report itself. While you are at the scene of the accident, be sure to collect several things:
- Names and contact information for all the individuals involved
- Vehicle information
- Documentation of any damage caused by the accident (video or photo)
- Documentation of the scene of the accident (video or photo)
- Witness statements and contact
- You may also want to look for security cameras that may have caught the accident. Be sure to ask for the footage immediately, since most businesses only keep the footage for a day or two.
- Any statement or admission that the other parties wish to make
- Your own statement about the events
File the report with the proper authority
Once you collect as much information as you can, you can proceed to the nearest police station and file the report there. The station generally stocks the proper forms to file the report, or can direct you where to get them.
Once you file the report, be sure to keep a copy of the report and all the associated evidence for your own records as you build your claim.