Were you the victim of a car accident in Yuma or its surroundings? No matter how the accident occurred, you should remain at the scene. If the accident resulted in injuries, you should call 911 or the nearest police department. If it only caused property damage, you should help clear the carriageway, to avoid impeding traffic. Immediately after that, you should consider getting in touch with a Yuma car accident lawyer.
Accident Reporting Obligations Yuma Car Accident Attorneys Explain to Their Clients
The law does not make reporting accidents mandatory for everyone involved. It only stipulates the above obligations for drivers and the penalties for not complying with them. The police officer investigating the accident has the obligation to file a report within 24 hours if:
- The accident resulted in injuries or death
- The property damage exceeded $1,000
- They issued a citation to someone involved in the accident.
As any Yuma car accident lawyer can confirm, this obligation is subject to Arizona Statutes § 28-667. According to its stipulation, the accident report should provide at least the following information:
- The time of the accident (day, hour, month, year)
- Sufficient information to clearly identify the accident location
- Contact and identification information for everyone involved, including vehicles, insurance, etc.
- Description of how the accident occurred and a simple sketch of the scene
- Name, agency, and ID number of the investigating officer
Otherwise put, the report should allow anyone reading it to understand everything about the accident. This makes it highly important for all the parties, especially for their car accident lawyers.
Why Is the Car Accident Report so Important for a Yuma, AZ, Car Accident Lawyer?
The accident report is among the first things a Yuma auto accident attorney will want to see. Some will use it to decide whether to accept a case. Others will base their entire case on it. One thing is for sure: it is the most important piece of evidence in a case.
As a victim, if you want to obtain compensation for your losses, you will need evidence. You will need to show that the defendant to your claim was at fault for your accident. You will also need to show what damages you incurred and how much they are worth.
The police accident report provides at least the basics. It details the causes and the consequences of the accident. In some cases, it is enough to convince a car insurance company to offer a convenient settlement. In other cases, it is just the starting point for the car accident lawyers’ own investigations.
This brings us to the second question, of whether or not to contact a Yuma auto accident attorney. If you incurred injuries in the accident, you should. We will explain why in the following lines.
Why Victims Should Contact a Yuma, AZ, Car Accident Attorney
Let’s say you are at the scene, and the police officer is investigating the accident. They will ask questions. What will you answer? A car accident lawyer would advise you to stick to the facts. Give brief, clear, and honest questions. Do not express regrets, start a fight, or make accusations.
Many accident victims make these mistakes and negatively influence the opinion of the police officer and witnesses. Sometimes, not even the best car accident attorney can undo the harm. To avoid a negative impact on your case, you should avoid conflicts and unnecessary discussions.
Then, if your injuries were serious, you could be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering. On your own, you would have a hard time documenting your pain and suffering. A car accident lawyer will request medical evaluations, use drug leaflets, witnesses, and case precedents.
The list of reasons why you should work with an auto accident attorney could continue. However, you surely know what you have to do now. The most important thing to remember is that many auto accident lawyers provide free case evaluations. This means you can get their opinion for free. You hear what they have to say, and you then decide whether they are worth hiring or not.
Schedule a Consultation with a Yuma, AZ, Auto Accident Attorney Now!
At Warnock MacKinlay Law, we too provide free preliminary consultations. All you need to do is schedule a consultation with our Yuma car accident lawyer. They will review your case details, tell you where you stand, answer your questions, and advise you. If you decide to entrust us with your case, we will not rest until we win it. If you choose to continue on your own, you will at least know where you stand.