Without realizing it, many car accident victims make mistakes in the immediate aftermath of a collision, hindering their ability to recover compensation for the damages they’ve incurred. Understandably, being involved in a car accident can be a traumatic experience. However, remaining calm and taking steps to safeguard your legal rights is crucial. One of the most important things you can do after a collision is call the police. When the police arrive at the scene, they will serve as a neutral third party, collecting pertinent information about the crash to help determine fault. It’s imperative to remember that insurance companies tend to accept the information within a police report. Please continue reading to learn about the importance of filing a police report after an auto accident in Maryland and how a competent Prince George’s County Auto Accident Lawyer can fight for you today.
Do I have to report a car accident?
While some minor car accidents don’t involve injuries, they can still result in substantial property damage. Therefore, it’s common for those interested in an accident to wonder when reporting an accident is necessary. Under Maryland law, you must register an accident that results in bodily injury or death within 15 days of the collision. Leaving the scene of an accident without alerting the police in the above scenarios is a crime. While it’s not necessary to call the police in every situation, it’s generally the best course of action. The police will investigate the circumstances of the incident and collect pertinent evidence in a police report that can help determine liability.
What does a police report provide?
A police report is an official statement written by the responding officer, which includes facts and various circumstances of a traffic accident. As mentioned above, police reports are utilized by insurance providers and courts to help determine who is liable for damages. Being involved in a car accident can be traumatic. As such, it can be difficult for the parties involved to recall specific details about the crash. This is when the police report truly comes into play, as it contains crucial information about the collision from a neutral third party. In most cases, a police report will provide you with the following information:
- The date, time, and location of the incident
- Contact and insurance information from all parties involved
- Weather conditions or other conditions that could have contributed to the cause of the accident
- A diagram of the accident
- Witness statements
- The officer’s observations and impressions
- Any citations or violations of the law
Although it may not be mandatory, filing a police report has various benefits. In the unfortunate event that you have been injured in a car accident due to another driver’s negligence, it’s in your best interest to enlist the help of a determined lawyer from the legal team at Timian & Fawcett, LLC. Our team is prepared to represent your interests to maximize your chances of recovering the just compensation you deserve and need.