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Reporting a Car Accident in Arizona

Being involved in a car accident can be a scary and confusing experience. It can be difficult to remember every step you need to take after a crash occurs. In most situations, a vehicle accident in Arizona will need to be reported to the appropriate authorities.
How and when To Report a Car Accident in Arizona

Here, our Phoenix car accident lawyers want to discuss what the law says about reporting accidents, how long you have to make your report, and whether or not you will need an attorney to help you through this.

Does the Accident Have to be Reported?

According to data available from the Arizona Department of Transportation, there were 129,750 total vehicle crashes reported across the state during the latest year. Out of these incidents, there were 982 fatalities and 53,809 injuries.

Arizona law states that the individuals involved in the accidents are not required to report the incident personally. However, law enforcement officials must file a written report if any of the following has occurred as a result of an accident:

  • An injury
  • A death
  • Property damage exceeding $1,000
  • A citation was issued to any driver

How Long Do You Have to Report an Accident?

Again, individuals involved in car accidents are not required to submit reports themselves to the state. However, failing to call the police to the scene of a crash could lead to a person being charged with hit and run. For anything more than a very minor car accident, you should call law enforcement and have them determine whether or not an accident report needs to be submitted. This should be done immediately following a crash.

Additionally, if you plan to file the incident with your insurance carrier, you need to know that most insurance companies require that the incident be reported very soon after the crash occurs, sometimes within 24 hours.

Do You Have to Report a Minor Accident in Arizona?

It is important to note two factors here, especially for accidents that are seemingly minor:

  1. Adrenaline can mask the signs and symptoms of many car accident injuries for a short period after the incident occurs.
  2. Even accidents with no exterior cosmetic damage can cause significant underlying damage to the vehicle.

We bring up these two points so that you understand why it is important to call 911 after just about every accident that occurs in Arizona. You need to let the police come to the scene and conduct an initial investigation to determine whether or not they will file a police report. This covers you in the event any party involved discovers more severe injuries or property damage after everyone leaves the scene. Imagine that you and another driver get involved in an accident and amicably agree that no report needs to be made. Now suppose that you get home and the other party calls the police to say that you stuck them, caused significant injuries or property damage, and left the scene.

If you simply call the police and let them conduct an investigation after a crash occurs, this will prevent a “he said, she said,” type of incident from occurring.

How an Attorney Can Help

If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident caused by the careless or negligent actions of another driver, you want to be sure that you receive any compensation that you are owed. This includes compensation for your medical bills if you or a loved one have been injured, lost income if you cannot work while recovering, property damage expenses, and any other out-of-pocket costs caused by the accident.

A Phoenix personal injury lawyer can bring their resources and legal expertise to your side to conduct a complete investigation into the incident, use the evidence they gather to prove liability and negotiate with all parties involved to ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled to. Torgenson Law Arizona Injury Lawyers has extensive experience handling these cases, and we are ready to help. You can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling 602-600-0492.

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