How Do I Obtain an Accident Report in Indiana?
Filing of a crash report is one of the critical steps that come after an accident. Settling a claim can prove to be a complicated step without a police report, as it is essential in obtaining insurance coverage. If you happen to file a car insurance claim without attaching the police report, you will increase the risk of getting a low settlement or having your claim denied.
In this article, we’re going to go over the steps involved in getting an accident report, why it is important, when to report an accident, and how to protect your rights. Knowing what to do after a car accident can help you get a bigger settlement.
How to Get an Accident Report
The process of getting a police report is fairly straightforward. You can get a report through your local police department or the courthouse, although a fee may be involved. You can also contact your insurance company. If they already have it, request for them to mail a copy to you.
A local DMV office can also provide you with the report if the responding officer submitted the document to them. Obtaining the report may take some time. You will, therefore, want to exercise some patience.
After obtaining the report, review it, and find out the official version of the events. The other driver or insurance company likely has a copy. Remember, you will use the report to support your version of how the accident occurred or to refute the accident assessment if the report incorrectly places you at fault.
Why Are Accident Reports Important?
The filing of an accident report is a standard procedure after an accident. The report contains vital information about the crash and the other parties that were involved. The information includes:
- The date and time of the accident
- The location of the crash
- The names, contact information, and addresses of the eyewitnesses
- A description of the involved vehicles and the damage
- Details about the accident including an accident diagram
The reports help your lawyer to conduct investigations. It is also a starting point for police investigations.
It also acts as evidence for crime victims in addition to tracking and prosecuting suspects. Insurance companies also require the report to process claims, especially in a hit and run case.
When to Report a Car Accident
You should immediately report an accident to the nearest law enforcement agency if the accident causes injuries or death to a person or if the property damage is over $1000. Similarly, you must notify the agency if the accident occurred in a jurisdiction that requires the filing of a report. In most cases, your insurance company will require the report.
Request your vehicle crash report from the Indiana State Police and operator’s cash report or proof of insurance from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. One of the first things you do after an accident is call 911.
Protecting Your Rights When Reporting a Car Accident
When filing a car accident report with law enforcement or an insurance company, you should keep the tips below at the back of your mind.
- Do not provide approximations or guess accident details
- Use facts that you are sure of when explaining when and where the accident occurred.
- Never accept blame, apologize, or admit fault for the accident even if it seems like you were responsible for the crash.
- Do not make statements about the severity of your injuries. Instead, seek medical advice from a qualified physician who can diagnose crash injuries accurately.
Do You Need an Attorney?
At this point, you might be wondering whether the services of an attorney are essential after an accident. You should know when to call an attorney after a car accident before making any you speak to the at-fault party’s insurance reps. Giving them any kind of statement could damage your case.
Your attorney will assess the damages, determine the insurance coverage available, and draft demand from insurance companies. They will also make sure you don’t settle for less than fair and adequate compensation, even though that is the first thing the insurance company will try to get you to do.
By Elizabeth Middleton