A car accident is a terrifying ordeal. It can happen in the blink of an eye, but the damages can last a lifetime. Injured accident victims often struggle with pain and anxiety after a car accident. They worry about paying medical expenses and putting their lives back together again.
During this time, a New Jersey auto accident lawyer can help reduce these worries. A lawyer can also help car accident victims fight for the compensation that they deserve.
However, there are also ways that you can help your attorney improve your chances for a successful outcome. One of the most important steps you can take after a car accident is to file a police report.
Do You Have to File an Accident Report in New Jersey?
In the state of New Jersey, drivers must report any accident that causes at least one of the following:
- Over $500.00 in property damage
This means that drivers must report the majority of car accidents to local law enforcement authorities. Even fender benders can result in over $500.00 in property damage.
A Police Report Could Impact Your Injury Case
While drivers in New Jersey are required to report most accidents to local law enforcement, filing a police report is also a valuable piece of your injury claim. A police report helps your attorney establish liability and gives them leverage to negotiate a better settlement.
A police report is generated by the investigating officer who shows up to the accident scene. Police officers are trained to look for visual evidence and assess who is to blame for the accident. Insurance companies use the police report to determine if they are responsible for paying an accident claim.
Without a police report, it is your word versus the word of the other driver involved in the accident. As such, you may find that the insurance company is uncooperative and not willing to negotiate a fair settlement or pay your damages.
How to File an Accident Report
In most cases, an officer will arrive at the accident scene and fill out a police report documenting the crash. However, if the accident is minor, then an officer may not come to the accident scene. When this occurs, you are responsible for filing your own accident report.
If no one is injured, and police officers do not arrive at the accident scene, then New Jersey drivers must send a letter to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission Agency within ten days of the accident.
Drivers can also fill out a New Jersey Self-Reporting Crash Form online. When filling out this form (SR-1), drivers need to include the following information:
- Accident date and time,
- Number of vehicles involved,
- Location of the accident,
- Both drivers’ insurance company information,
- Both drivers’ contact information and driver’s license numbers,
- Damage to the vehicles,
- Estimated repair costs and
- Written account of the crash.
Contact Our New Jersey Auto Accident Lawyers
If you or someone you love has been injured in an auto accident in Cumberland County, then we can help. Call the New Jersey auto accident attorneys at Rosner Law Offices, P.C. today for a free initial consultation and review of your case. Contact us at (856) 692-6500 or fill out our confidential contact form. Our office is conveniently located in Vineland, New Jersey, so we are available wherever you need us. Call today!