Filing a Police Report After a Crash in Alabama: An Attorney Explains
Car accidents in Alabama can be confusing and overwhelming for everyone involved. You have to deal with insurance companies, other drivers involved and potential injuries. However, filing a police report can make the insurance and legal processes easier going forward.
When and Why
A police report should be filed after any accident. Even if the accident seems minor, you should still file a police report with as much information as you can gather.
Filing a police report is not the same as making an insurance claim. It does, however, provide the insurance company with an official crash report. The report also acts as a legal record of what happened if the courts become involved. If you do not file a police report and an injury becomes apparent later, it may become more difficult to receive the compensation you need to make a full recovery.
Information to Collect
Immediately following an accident, Alabama law requires drivers to move their vehicles to a safe location, if possible, before exchanging information. In addition to recording the name of the other driver, you should gather the following details:
- Find witnesses and write down or record their version what happened. Get their full name, phone number and address.
- Write down, take pictures, and record audio or video of the damages and accident location with your phone.
The Role of the Police
If the police do arrive, their first goal will be to secure the scene of the accident and direct traffic if the vehicles are unable to be moved to a safe location. They will also issue tickets for any obvious traffic violations that resulted in an accident. If needed, they can also speak to witnesses and make sure details in the report are accurate. Be sure to collect the name of the officer, in case they’re needed later.
Every car accident is unique. That's why it’s important to document every possible detail and record them within a police report. After that, you should contact a Mobile, AL car accident lawyer at Braswell Murphy LLC before taking further action. We have the experience, resources and dedication needed to help you take on the insurance company and get the compensation you need. Call (866) 408-0950 to schedule a free consultation.