Car accidents can happen even to the best of drivers. Even if you drive by the rules of the road, you might find yourself caught in an auto accident someday.
In the event of an accident, you might need to fill out some paperwork. Find out what forms you need to fill out in the event of a fender bender.
When Can You Skip the Traffic Accident Paperwork?
Some states require every accident to be reported, regardless of the damage. Others only require police reporting on more serious accidents that involve damaged property or injuries.
Consult your local DMV or law enforcement agency.
Cover the Accident Information Basics
When cars get a little too closely acquainted and end up in a collision, the drivers and any other involved parties should meet.
Regardless of the severity of the traffic accident, exchange some basic information with everyone involved:
- Full name.
- Insurance information, including your policy number and insurance company).
- Telephone number.
- Email address, if appropriate.
When you have this basic information from everyone involved, you can rest assured that you can stay in touch if need be.
The Traffic Accident Report
Once you exchange contact information, you might need to fill out a traffic accident report.
An accident report details all of the relevant information related to your collision. Sometimes, a police officer can complete this important step for you by filing a police report. But, if an officer isn’t on the scene, you might need to complete the accident report yourself.
Accident reports typically include the following information:
- Location and time of accident.
- Drivers’ names, addresses, and dates of birth.
- Drivers’ driver license information, including license number and state.
- Drivers’ license plate number and state.
- Drivers’ insurance companies, policy numbers, and insurance expiration dates.
- Insurance policy holders’ names and addresses.
- Vehicle owners’ names and addresses.
- An explanation of any damages or injuries incurred.
Depending on your state’s rule and regulations, you might need to fill out a hard copy accident report to file with your state motor vehicle agency, or you might be able to fill out an online accident report instead.
Other Relevant Traffic Accident Forms
Typically, traffic accident reports are the centerpiece of car accident reporting.
However, you might need to fill out a few other kinds of paperwork, depending on your state’s regulations, your insurance company’s requirements, and the unique situation of your collision:
- A witness statement. Witness statements can come in handy when innocent bystanders can provide an account of what occurred at the scene.
- Statement of financial responsibility or a waiver of financial responsibility, depending on your situation.
- A release from liability.
- A promissory note contract.
Consult with your local DMV and your insurance company to ensure you compile all the required documentation.
Have you ever been in a car accident? What paperwork do you remember completing? Tell us more in the comments section below.