Personal injury laws exist in every state in America, and their purpose is to help ensure that financial justice is served when someone is injured by someone else's recklessness or negligence.

One of the most crucial aspects of preserving your rights if you’re involved in an accident or incident that could lead to a claim is filing an accident report. What is an accident report, and how will it protect your rights? We’ll go over all the important definitions you need to know below.

Types of Accidents and Incidents

The most basic definition of an accident report is that it is a formal document created by an authority that outlines what happens when someone gets injured. This report may vary based on the type of accident experienced by the victim and the extent of the injuries.

There are numerous types of accidents that warrant the development of an accident report. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • car, motorcycle, and truck accidents;
  • bicycle and pedestrian accidents;
  • slip and fall incidents;
  • work-related accidents;
  • a wrongful death situation;
  • an animal attack;
  • injuries resulting from defective devices;
  • assault, battery, or another type of intentionally violent crime;
  • nursing home injuries;
  • birth injuries;
  • medical malpractice.

You should not file your own accident report. This document should be created, written out, and filed by an authority. For instance, in the event of a car accident, you should call the police out to the scene of the crash to file an official accident report. If your incident happens at work, then your employer or a manager should create the incident report. When an accident happens at a business, then you need to have the business owner or an employee create the report.

Key Components of an Accident Report

The real accident report meaning lies within the details that will be outlined in the document. The key components of an accident report are:

  • The date and time of the incident.
  • The location of the incident.
  • The parties that were involved in the accident.
  • A description of what happened.
  • An outline of events leading up to the incident if relevant.
  • Any findings into an initial investigation into what caused the incident.
  • A written statement regarding any corrective or preventative measures taken.
  • The names and contact information of witnesses.
  • An outline of any property damage or initial injuries apparent at the scene.
  • A report of the treatment received by the injured person.

Recording these accident report details is crucial because it proves specific facts that could be paramount to a future legal case or insurance claim.

Steps in Filing an Accident Report

Your first step in filing an accident report is contacting the appropriate authority who will file the report. You will need to use your best judgment to determine who to contact. You’ll want to ensure police involvement in a traffic accident, for example, or contact a manager or supervisor if you’ve experienced a work-related accident. If your accident happened at a business, then you need to inform an employee, manager, or business owner on-site.

Next, you need to talk to the person making the report. You’ll want to give them your name and other identifying details. Explain what happened and tell the person that you’ll be seeking out medical treatment after they finish writing your statement.

In some cases, you can file a report after you seek medical care for your injuries, but the sooner you can make the report, the better. Your physical health is always the most important, so focus on that first if your accident leads to serious injuries.

Legal and Insurance Implications

Filing an official report after an accident is important for several reasons. For one, filing the report can help establish liability because the report usually includes an initial investigation into what happened. The report will usually state who or what the authority thinks caused the accident.

You should use the report for legal purposes to prove that the accident happened and also document the details of the incident. Your report can also be used for insurance purposes as evidence of what happened, who was involved, and other details.

Assistance and Resources for Accident Reporting

Do you have more questions about accident reporting? Are you not sure what authority source to talk to about what happened? If you need further assistance, then it might be your best option to contact an attorney for more information. Personal injury attorneys will have extensive experience reviewing and handling accident reports. That said, they should be able to quickly and accurately answer your questions about filing an accident report.

If you have questions, then our firm can help. Contact our team today to get started.

Ray Kermani
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