May 3, 2022 | Car Accidents
After a car accident, you’re probably hurt, worried, and full of questions. One of the most common ones is, “Is my car accident report public record in Oklahoma City?” The car accident report is one of the most important documents needed for a lawsuit or settlement after your crash.
You Must Report a Car Accident in Oklahoma
State law requires you to report a car crash in most circumstances. While sometimes the other driver will ask to exchange insurance information, filing a police report can protect you against future claims and get the facts of the accident on record.
Even if you don’t feel hurt or if your car doesn’t look damaged, it’s always best to call the police after a wreck.
You are required to make an accident report immediately after an accident that results in the injury or death of one or more of the people involved, either by dialing 911 or giving notice of the accident to the police department that has jurisdiction in the area.
You’ll also be required to provide the other driver and police with the following information if you’re involved in an accident that causes injury:
- Full name
- Vehicle registration number
- Driver’s license
- Security verification form
The police will then look at the accident scene, gather any witness statements, and prepare the report. This report will note who and what caused the accident and help determine who is liable for the wreck.
How Long Do I Have to File a Police Report After an Accident?
If the vehicle damage was minor and the accident didn’t result in any injuries, then both parties are required to exchange information, but they don’t have to call the police.
However, if the damage from the accident totals more than $300, then the driver has to report the accident in writing to the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety. You have six months from the date of the accident to report the accident and whether there was a monetary settlement for the damages.
You can use the Oklahoma Motor Vehicle Collision Report form to detail the personal information of both drivers and the property damages that ensued. You may also need to attach a statement of the total loss from an authorized car body shop or garage.
Why Are Police Reports Important After an Accident?
Car accident lawyers recommend that all accidents be reported to the police because having the facts on file protects you if the other driver attempts to file a claim for damages.
The insurance company may dispute the damages that you have claimed. They may say they weren’t as extensive (and expensive) as they actually were or try to deny that the damages occurred because of the accident.
Insurance companies typically require a police report to process the claim, whether you’re filing a claim through your insurance provider or attempting to get reimbursed by the other driver’s insurance company.
How Can I Obtain a Copy of My Police Report?
Accident reports are a matter of public record. To get a copy of your accident report, you need to submit a Records Request & Consent to Release Form. A copy is $7, but if you need a certified copy, it will cost $10. You may file the report in person or mail it to the appropriate address.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, no matter how minor it may seem, a car accident lawyer will help protect your interests and work to obtain a fair settlement on your behalf.
Contact the Oklahoma City Car Accident Lawyers at McGuire Law Firm Today for Free Consultation
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