FAQs: Car Accident Reports in Arizona
June 27, 2023 | Car Accidents
One of the most basic yet powerful pieces of evidence following an Arizona car wreck is the accident report. And while there may be thousands of these reports filed each year due to the large number of collisions that occur, you and other drivers may still find them a mystery.
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about Arizona car accident reports:
What Is a Car Accident Report?
A car accident report, sometimes called an Arizona Crash Report, is a written document completed by a law enforcement officer that records the details of an auto accident, like a car, motorcycle, or truck crash.
Some of the information recorded in a crash report include:
- Date, time, and location of the accident
- Vehicles and drivers involved in the crash
- Any injuries sustained by drivers, passengers, or others
- Contact information for parties involved and other witnesses
- Diagram of the crash and the officer’s conclusions about how the crash occurred
The crash report will also contain other important and helpful details about a wreck. For this reason, it is always useful to obtain a copy of your crash report if you have been involved in a wreck.
When Do You Need to Report a Car Accident in Arizona?
Accidents should be reported – and a crash report completed – if someone was hurt or killed in the accident or if any property damage from it exceeds $2,000. It is also a good idea to call law enforcement to report a crash and ask for a report to be made if you believe the other driver caused the crash.
If you fail to report an accident, especially a serious one that results in injury or extensive property damage, you might be accused of leaving the scene of a crash.
How Do You Get a Copy of Your Arizona Crash Report?
Obtaining your crash report requires knowing which agency investigated your crash. If the accident occurred within the Phoenix city limits, the Phoenix Police most likely investigated it. You would simply need to visit your local police precinct to request a copy.
If another agency, such as the Maricopa County Sheriff, responded to your accident, you would need to contact that agency. The Department of Public Records receives crash reports filed by the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
If you are uncertain which agency responded, you may need to contact several until you find your report. Alternatively, if you have an attorney representing you, your lawyer can help you locate your accident report.
How Do You Use Your Crash Report After an Accident?
The crash report itself is useful for identifying the negligent driver who caused the crash. It can also help you find key witnesses to the accident.
In addition, the report will tell you whether the investigating officer believed that the other driver caused the crash or whether they issued citations to that driver — which is helpful information. The report will identify this officer so they can be subpoenaed.
A Crash Report Is Necessary, but Not Necessarily Confusing
Once you learn what information can be contained in an Arizona Crash Report and its potential uses, you will find that there is nothing mysterious at all about these documents. All you need to do is call law enforcement or 911 after a crash and ask for a crash report to be completed.
Then, follow up with the agency that completes the report so you can get a copy and present it to your insurer if requested. Finally, you can use the information in your accident report to help determine whether you have the right to file a car accident claim against another party.
Contact the Arizona Car Accident Lawyers at Curiel & Runion Personal Injury Lawyers Today
Curiel & Runion Personal Injury Lawyers
5151 E Broadway Blvd. Suite 1600
Tucson, AZ 85711