Even for the experienced driver, car accidents can happen at any moment, so it’s essential to understand how to file an accident report.
Crashes and their aftermath can be very stressful, but knowing what to do afterward can help you stay calm. Part of this process involves knowing who to talk to and when. Here are some answers to common questions you might have about vehicle accident reports.
When Must Car Accidents Be Reported?
Every state requires a car accident report to be filed based on certain criteria. This usually depends on the amount of property damage and whether or not injuries were sustained. For example, Utah drivers are required to file a report if the accident resulted in injuries, death, or a total property damage amount exceeding $1,500. Additionally, the report must be completed within ten days of the crash. Since each state has its own regulations for reporting, it’s best to check with the DMV to find out if you need to report yours.
Who Reports Accidents to the DMV?
If police were called to the scene, the responding officer will fill out an accident report and file it with the DMV. They will take statements from those involved, record a thorough incident description, take photos, draw diagrams, and list any other important details needed to document the incident.
If police were not notified, it is the driver’s responsibility to call law enforcement and file a report as soon as possible. In most cases, your automobile insurance company will not know about your accident until you file a claim and they do not send reports to the DMV.
What if You Cannot File an Accident?
If you are unable to immediately deliver your statement of the accident due to injury, you are allowed to postpone doing so until you receive medical attention. In most cases, a police officer will follow up with you at a later date once you have recovered.
How Do Obtain a Copy of Your Accident Report?
You will need a copy of your accident report to file an insurance claim, but how do you get one? This process depends on the state in which the incident occurred, but in general, you can find the report online.
In Utah, you have two options:
- Order your report electronically and receive it instantly at crashreport.utah.gov.
- Contact the Utah Highway Patrol office in the county or area where the crash occurred.
These reports are considered protected records by law, so they can only be given to the following people:
- A person directly involved in the accident
- A person suffering loss or injury from the accident
- An agent, parent, or legal guardian of a person involved
- A private investigator
- Public law enforcement officers
- Local, state, and federal agencies that use crash information in their capacity
Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton Can Help
If you have been involved in a car accident and have concerns about your accident report, the personal injury attorneys at Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton are here for you. With more than 50 years of combined experience, our team will fight to help you receive the compensation you deserve after your accident.
We have offices located in Orem, Provo, Saratoga Springs, and West Jordan, Utah. Contact us today to learn more and obtain your free case evaluation.