A traffic accident is scary, regardless of whether it was a minor fender bender or a severe and catastrophic crash. While Ohio law does not require that you complete a Traffic Accident Report if you were involved in a car accident, the report can be a key piece of information that can be used to prove how the accident occurred and who was at fault.
If you were involved in an Ohio car accident, no matter how severe, you should call the police to complete a Traffic Accident Report. An accident report can help prove what happened, where the vehicles came to rest after the crash and, in some cases, assign blame for causing the car wreck.
How to Read an Ohio Traffic Crash Report
If you have never been in a car accident before, reading an Ohio Traffic Crash Report can seem confusing. But understanding this document is an important step in determining who caused the car crash and getting information about how to pursue financial recovery for your claim.
The first page of an Ohio Traffic Accident Report contains information about where and when the crash occurred. There is a section for Crash Severity which allows the police officer to choose “Fatal,” “Injury,” or “PDO” (Property Damage Only), whether the accident was a Hit and Run (“Hit / Skip”), and whether the police took photographs of the scene. The first page of the report also includes the police officer’s observations about road conditions, weather conditions, and lighting conditions, and a diagram of the scene of the collision. The bottom of the report includes the police officer’s name and badge number.
The second and third pages contain information about the people who were involved in the accident, including their name, address, and telephone number, as well as information about the vehicle they were driving such as the make, model, color, year, and vehicle identification number (VIN). It also includes their insurance information. The police officer can identify areas of the vehicles that were damaged, the extent of the damage, and other information about the cause of the crash such as contributing circumstances and the sequence of events that led to the crash.
The fourth page of a Traffic Crash Report includes information about other people who were involved in the wreck, such as additional drivers, vehicle occupants, and other non-motorists. The report will include their names, addresses, age, phone number, date of birth, driver’s license number, whether they sustained any injuries, whether they were taken to a medical facility and, if so, where. The report will also identify which vehicle they were in, where they were located inside the vehicle, and whether they were charged with a crime.
Why You Should Complete a Traffic Crash Report if You Were Involved in a Car Accident
Insurance companies and personal injury attorneys will carefully review the Traffic Crash Report and use it to determine who caused an accident.
A Traffic Crash Report is an important piece of information about a car accident. Insurance companies and personal injury attorneys will carefully review the Traffic Crash Report and use it to determine who caused an accident. If you were hurt in a car crash, it is important that you review the report to ensure that the information on it is correct.
How to File a Traffic Accident Report
Many believe that police will respond to and file a report after every accident. While this may be true in some parts of Ohio, it is not always the case.
Ohio law mandates that police respond to any accident that requires medical care, when a fatality occurs, or for property damage in excess of $1,000.
If the police do respond to a traffic accident, they can help control the scene, ensure that anyone who needs medical attention receives it, and help establish the facts and circumstances of the accident.
But if the police are not available, you may need to file a Traffic Crash Report yourself. You can do so by going to the police station of the municipality where the accident happened and asking to file a report.
What to Do After an Ohio Car Accident
If you were hurt in a car accident, it is important that you take steps to protect yourself and your rights. After you have identified and sought treatment for any injuries, you should contact an Ohio car accident injury attorney.
A lawyer will review your case and notify the other drivers and their insurance companies that you are represented. This key step goes a long way in taking the burden of dealing with the car accident off of your shoulders, so you can focus on getting better while a lawyer handles the details of your financial recovery.
Your attorney will gather evidence about how the accident occurred and the nature and extent of your injuries. The lawyer will submit this information to the appropriate insurance companies and try to settle your case for an amount of money that will fairly compensate you for your injuries.
If the insurance company is unwilling to settle your case for a fair amount, your lawyer will file a lawsuit to protect your rights and pursue full and fair compensation for your injuries.
Learn more about our personal injury practice and how we help people who were hurt in a car accident, then contact us today to schedule a free, confidential consultation to discuss your case and how we can help.