Not only can you use a police report in your claim, you are required to report the car accident to the police if it includes any of the following:
If your accident falls under these categories, you need to report it by the “quickest means of communication” to either the state police officer, the nearest state police field office, the deputy sheriff or the sheriff’s office. You’re required to report as both the operator of an involved vehicle, someone acting as an operator, or, if the operator is unknown, the owner of an involved vehicle with some knowledge of the accident.
If you hit an unattended vehicle, you’re required to stay at the scene or as close as possible and, in a conspicuous place, provide the following information, typically in the form of a note:
- Operator name and address
- Vehicle registration number
- Statement of accident circumstances
You must also provide your evidence of financial responsibility if someone asks for it, typically proof of insurance in the form of an insurance ID card.
For accidents involving property damage or vehicle damage, you must stay at the scene and exchange the above information. Plus, if someone asks you and you have it with you, you have to let them examine your driver’s license and proof of insurance. For accidents involving bodily injuries or death, you must stay at the scene, exchange information and provide assistance to any injured parties.
That’s it for your legal requirements, but we also recommend writing down information about the accident, including the date, time and weather conditions, gathering witness contact information and taking pictures of the damages. This evidence will be helpful in your insurance claim, making it more likely you’ll be able to recover your damages.