- Call your insurance company and file your
- Contact your local Department
of Motor Vehicles to see if you are required
to file the accident with the state department.
- If there are any claims made against you,
or you would like to file a claim, locate
- If you have been injured in any way, see
a doctor for a medical evaluation
- Keep a record of all expenses incurred as
a result of the accident and keep ALL receipts
- If you have been injured, keep a record of
how you have been affected: yourself, your work and/or your
Depending upon the nature of the traffic accident
and the extent of the damages and injuries involved, a series
of auto accident reports must be filed. Sometimes the reporting
of an auto accident is mandatory, sometimes it is voluntary.
Please check with your state laws regarding accidents.
Reports typically must be filed with three sets of organizations:
The law of the state where the accident occurs
may require a police report to be filed. However, as there
are many variations in state and local laws -- and even local
practices -- we can not address them all. Generally
if any personal injury occurs in an auto accident, a police
report must be filed. A police report generally
also is required when property damage exceeds a certain dollar
amount (often $200 to $500). The manner of making the report
also varies. Some local police only take certain auto accident
reports over the telephone, some require a trip to the station
house. To be safe, at least a telephone call to local police
should be made shortly after an auto accident to determine
local practice and the information you are required to provide.
A great resource for locating the traffic investigation unit
of the police department in your area is the ARC
Network. They have a directory
of traffic police with complete contact information.
(See Step Two)
Some state DMV's maintain auto accident reports.
The requirement for these reports differ between the various
states (for example, California requires every operator of
a vehicle involved in an accident to file a "SR-1"
whenever there is an accident with personal injury or property
damage in excess of $500). Typically this report must be filed
within 5 or 10 days of the accident. Failure to file such
a required report could lead to suspension of your driving
privilege. In other words, your driver's license could be
taken away from you, regardless of fault, if you do not promptly
file a report with your state's DMV. If you or someone was
injured, it may make sense to speak
to a personal injury attorney BEFORE filing that report!
Links to the DMV can be found by clicking
After the accident you should take some time
to review the Research
section of The Accident Resource web site. This section
contains information on traffic accident statistics, automotive
safety, automotive recalls and defects, automotive safety
restraints, state laws and other information.
to the Research Section
Accident Resource has compiled a host of professional directories
to help you locate qualified professionals who can help you
through the traffic accident process. Our professional directories
help you locate qualified personal injury attorneys, medical
specialists (chiropractic specialists), insurance companies,
expert witnesses, traffic investigation police and others.
We have broken everything down so you can easily find qualified
professionals in your area.
Access the Directories