Your decisions will have a major impact on what happens after a car crash. For example, your decisions about insurance coverage long before the crash will determine what benefits you have available to you from your own policy. Your choices at the scene of the crash can also be very important.
What you do after a collision may influence whether the police and insurance companies reach an accurate conclusion regarding fault for the wreck. Which actions are the most important for protecting your rights immediately following a significant collision?
Your decision to notify Arkansas law enforcement
Technically, state law requires that drivers involved in a collision involving injuries to any people or more than $1,000 in property damage report the crash so that police can investigate and create an official report.
Collisions that only result in minor property damage are at the discretion of the drivers involved. They can choose not to make a formal report since neither will likely need to file an insurance claim. It is often smart to report a crash, as repair costs could be higher than you estimate and you could have an injury with delayed-onset symptoms.
You should be wary of anyone who asks you to bypass the police report, as you may leave yourself in a disadvantaged position if they do not follow through with their promises to pay you later. You will have a difficult time proving your right to file a claim because there is no police report corroborating your allegations of a crash for which they are responsible.
Your choice to document the collision scene before moving anything
You will obviously feel the pressure of traffic building up on either side of your vehicles after the wreck. The heavier the traffic is in the area, the more you will want to get traffic flowing smoothly regardless of how long you have to wait for the police.
The only issue with that safety-conscious decision is that it means a police officer won’t see the placement of the vehicles when they arrive to investigate. Using your phone or the phone of someone else nearby to capture a combination of video footage and still photos of the scene of the crash could help you.
Your images will show exactly what happened and lead to a more accurate recreation of the collision later. Especially if the other driver doesn’t admit how they contributed to the crash, that evidence could be very important for your financial and legal protection.
Making the right choices immediately after a car wreck will help protect you from major expenses related to the crash.