If you or somebody you care about has been involved in a vehicle accident, we sincerely hope that the police came to the scene and conducted an investigation. A police report is an integral piece of evidence used by insurance carriers and other parties when working to determine how compensation should be paid out. However, there are various reasons why an accident report may not be reported right away. Perhaps there were no visible or obvious injuries. Maybe there was no visible property damage. Unfortunately, the true severity of a crash is often not fully understood until the days that follow the incident. Here, we want to discuss what you can do if a vehicle crash was not reported.
You Need To Inform the Police About the Accident
When we turn to Arizona Statutes § 28-667, we can see that just about every accident needs to be reported in the state of Arizona. Under the law in this state, police officers must respond to nearly every crash and provide a written report if any of the following has occurred:
- Property damage exceeding $1,000
- Issuance of any citation
If you have been involved in a vehicle accident that meets any of those requirements, the police officer who responds to the scene typically provides a written accident report within 24 hours of the incident. In general, the police report will include:
- The time and place the incident occurred
- The name, address, and date of birth of all motorists involved
- The driver’s license information of all motorists involved
- The license plate numbers of all vehicles involved
- The name and address of all insurance policyholders and the name of the insurance carriers
- The name and address of all registered owners of the vehicles involved
- An explanation of what happened during the car accident
In general, a police report will also contain a preliminary determination of who caused the crash as well as documentation of any citations if they were issued.
What if no Report Is Made?
If a vehicle accident victim or another driver did not call the police to report the incident, this could present significant complications when it comes to receiving compensation. Often, the full extent of injuries or property damage is not realized until the hours or days following the incident. If you were involved in a crash and did not report the incident to police officers but then later realize that injuries or property damage were more severe than you realized, you should report the incident to your insurance carrier as soon as possible. You should also call the police to make a report.
If you do not have a police report, and if the other party did not file a report either, this can make it incredibly difficult to recover compensation for injuries or property damage. In fact, the insurance carrier is very likely to deny a claim if they do not have a police report to work with.
Involving an Attorney for Your Arizona Vehicle Accident
If you or somebody you love has been injured or sustained property damage in a vehicle accident in Arizona, you should speak to a skilled attorney as soon as possible. A Phoenix auto accident attorney will be able to examine the facts of your case and help determine the best steps moving forward.