Reporting a Phoenix, AZ Car Accident to the Police

It can be difficult to keep your wits about you when you get into a car accident. However, it is important to remain cool in these situations. Saying or doing the wrong thing could limit the compensation you collect after an accident, or even expose you to possible criminal charges. There are a number of things you need to keep in mind when reporting a Phoenix, AZ car accident to the police.

You’ll want to keep the following advice in mind when reporting a car wreck to the police. Doing so can help your car accident attorney secure the maximum compensation for your losses. Reach out to the team at Phillips Law Group for more detailed guidance.

Drivers’ Obligations After an Accident

Arizona Revised Statutes § 28-663 require a driver involved in an accident to exchange their contact and insurance information with other involved drivers. They must also display their driver’s license if requested.

If the accident causes an injury, a driver must render reasonable assistance and arrange for care by a medical professional if necessary. The best way for a motorist to comply with this provision of the law is to report the accident to the police and request emergency medical personnel attend. Someone who fails to render necessary medical aid could face Class 6 felony charges.

When the police are called to an accident scene, they interview the drivers, other vehicle occupants, and witnesses. They may also take photographs and measurements and examine the debris field. The information they collect at the scene will become a part of a police report.

Ensuring the Police Make a Report

When no one suffers an obvious injury, a Phoenix driver might not know whether to involve the police in an accident. However, insurance companies usually request a police report before processing a claim. It is always prudent to report the accident to the police immediately. Doing so is especially important if a driver believes the other driver’s failure to obey the law caused the accident.

The police must complete a report within 24 hours. If their investigation requires more time, they must file the report when it is complete. The report must include the names and contact information of the involved drivers and any witnesses, a narrative account of the incident with a diagram, and information regarding ownership of the involved vehicles.

In some cases, other emergency calls prevent the police from getting to the accident immediately. Although the Phoenix Police Department does not accept online vehicle accident reports, if the accident occurred on a State Highway, the Arizona Department of Public Safety (ADPS) has jurisdiction. When there are no injuries and damage is minimal, ADPS accepts online accident reports. The ADPS will review the report and if it is accepted, will assign a police report number that a driver can submit to their insurance company.

Talking to the Police After an Accident

Drivers in the Phoenix, AZ area have an obligation to cooperate with a police investigation into an accident. However, cooperation does not require a driver to admit they were at fault or speculate about what happened.

Drivers involved in accidents should be prepared to present their identification, vehicle registration, and insurance information. They do not need to provide information about what they think caused the accident. Indeed, drivers should be wary of offering information if it might eventually lead to a conclusion that they are at fault for the car crash.

Insurance companies examine police reports looking for apologies and admissions of responsibility. When they find them, they can discount the compensation an injured driver receives. A motorist who keeps their head after an accident and avoids making incriminating statements is more likely to receive a reasonable sum in settlement of their insurance claim.

Work With a Phoenix Attorney When Reporting a Car Accident to the Police

Reporting a Phoenix, AZ car accident to the police is just the first step. If the incident caused you to suffer an injury or financial loss, you could have a claim against the at-fault driver.

To get the maximum compensation available under these circumstances, you’ll need help from an experienced attorney. Call Phillips Law Group today to discuss your situation with a skilled member of our team during a free initial consultation. You are under no obligation to work with our team after this first evaluation, but we are confident we can prove to you why we are the personal injury firm to work with on your car accident case. Contact us today to learn more!