March 18, 2021 | Car Accidents
Getting in a car accident can be stressful, even when it doesn’t result in a serious injury. There is always the question of whether or not to call the police, how to interact with the other driver, and what to say to your insurance company.
Because an accident can be traumatic, it is good to have a plan in place beforehand. If you know what to do when you are in an accident, it will make it that much easier if and when the time comes.
One of the main questions is whether or not you should involve the police. This can be especially tricky if the other driver seems hesitant or if there is only light damage to either vehicle.
Of course, in a fender bender with no injuries and no apparent damage, you can likely just exchange info with the other driver.
The info you and the other driver will need to share with each other include:
- Driver license number
- Vehicle registration number
It is worth noting that if there is any damage to the vehicle, you need to exchange information with the other driver in accordance with Oklahoma law.
When an accident is more serious, meaning there is a fatality, an injury, or significant damage to one or more vehicles, Oklahoma law requires drivers to call the local police, sheriff’s department, or state highway patrol.
Information in Oklahoma Accident Reports
The authorities you call to report an accident are trained in writing accident reports and will know how to describe what happened concisely. They will include information about everything from weather to driving conditions. The authorities will also record things like who was injured and where their vehicles sustained damage.
While an accident report might not contain definitive proof about who caused the accident, the officer might offer his or her opinion about causation based on what they find at the scene. Typically, these accident reports are not admissible as evidence in Oklahoma courts. Nevertheless, they provide valuable details about the accident from an unbiased source. Such information can be very helpful when dealing with an insurance company.
How to Obtain an Oklahoma City Car Accident Report
There are two ways you can obtain an accident report in Oklahoma City. You can request an accident report in person at the Oklahoma City Police Headquarters during their regular hours. You will need to fill out the OCPD Records Request form and pay the applicable fee.
You can also submit the same form via mail. However, this method takes longer and requires an additional $4 processing fee.
Why You Should Get an Accident Report
When in doubt, call the police to report an accident. Having a police report can protect you from lowball settlement offers from insurance companies. They can also protect you from the other driver if they later change their story about the accident.
It might take a little extra time and effort to call the police, talk with them, and then get the report from police headquarters. However, these reports can be a huge asset when making your case for compensation.
Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
Another important step you should consider taking after a car accident is hiring a skilled personal injury lawyer. A good lawyer will be able to walk you through the insurance claim process and push back against any flack you get from the insurance company.
With the right lawyer, not only will you be able to maximize the damages you receive, but you will also have to put less time and effort into getting that compensation.