When you’re preparing for the festive season that includes Christmas and New Year’s Eve, you won’t want to think about accidents. However, this time of year can be especially dangerous as people rush around to shop or attend parties. Many motorists drive under the influence and put people’s lives at risk. This means you may be even more likely to get hit by a negligent driver over the holidays. Reporting a car accident may be the last thing you want to bother with. However, you need to protect your right to get compensation. A car accident lawyer in Indianapolis, IN can help.
Drivers who are in an accident are required to offer assistance to anyone who is injured. They should also exchange information, including names and addresses and vehicle registration numbers. Someone also needs to report the crash as soon as possible after it occurs. Under Indiana law, you have to report certain types of wrecks to the relevant authorities. Filing a report also ensures that important evidence is collected. This can be key in determining liability and taking the appropriate legal steps. Let’s discuss when you need to report an accident and how you should go about it.
When You Should Report a Car Crash
In Indiana, motorists must report a car accident when:
- It results in injuries or death or someone is trapped.
- It causes at least $1,000 in property damage.
- It involves unattended property or an unoccupied vehicle and the owner can’t be found.
These reports can be made to the local police in municipalities or the county sheriff went outside the city’s boundaries. You can also call 911. If you intentionally break the law by not reporting the accident, you may face charges. The authorities may also revoke your driver’s license and vehicle registration. Usually, leaving the scene without reporting an accident is a Class B misdemeanor.
However, there are circumstances in which the charge can be upgraded. If the accident results in bodily injury, it’s a Class A misdemeanor. If it causes serious bodily injury or you were convicted of certain offenses previously, it’s a Level 6 felony. If someone died, it’s a Level 5 felony. You can be charged with a Level 3 felony if you committed the offense while intoxicated.
The law doesn’t require you to file a report with an insurance company. However, your car insurance policy may specify deadlines by which you must contact them. If you fail to meet these deadlines, you may compromise your claim. A car accident lawyer Indianapolis, IN can give you further details about your legal responsibilities.
Tips for Reporting a Car Accident
When you’re preparing to report a car accident, there are some things to keep in mind. For example, you should:
- State only the facts you’re certain of like where the crash occurred and when
- Never guess about anything including the cause of the accident
- Never accept blame or admit fault
- Never self-diagnose. Wait for a physician to state the extent of your injuries
These tips apply whether you’re talking to law enforcement or an insurance company.
If you contact a lawyer, they will advise you further on how you can protect your rights. The sooner you make the call, the better it will be for you. Your car accident lawyer in Indianapolis, IN will work to ensure that all responsible parties are held accountable and that you get the compensation you deserve.
How to Get a Copy of the Police Report
You’ll need a copy of the police report for the insurance company. The Indiana State Police keeps a database of all car accident reports. You can an electronic version online by providing details of the accident. In Indianapolis, you can also get a physical copy of the report from the local police. The report costs $12.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Indianapolis, IN at Stewart|Phelps|Wood
If you want professional advice following a holiday car accident, contact our experienced car accident attorney in Indianapolis, IN. We are available 24/7 so you can call us from the accident scene to get assistance right from the start. We know the holidays are a special time so we’ll do everything we can to reduce the inconvenience you face.
Our team has been effectively representing accident victims for several years and we have the knowledge and skills you need. We’ll help you to adhere to the law and protect your rights. We’ll explain your legal options and do everything we can to get you the compensation you deserve. Your first consultation is free, and you don’t have to pay us until we secure compensation for you.