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The Importance of an Accident Report Following an Auto Accident

An accident scene can be a stressful and chaotic place that you just want to leave and forget.  Afterward, it is very easy to forget to get a copy of the accident report or the report number.  Obviously, you are worrying about possible injuries in both vehicles, calling the police, and assessing physical damage to your transportation.  Many people overlook receiving a copy of the accident report while they are still at the scene because of all the distractions and other priorities.  

What is an Accident Report

After an auto accident, an accident report is filled out by the responding officer at the scene. It will detail both accounts of what happened, as well as pertinent time, location and date info. This report is used to determine fault, and is an official third party form that can be used by both parties. A copy of the report can be obtained by either party.

In Memphis, Shelby County, TN the officer will provide you with a report number than you can then use to get a copy at a later date. Acquiring a copy of this report is very important and the sooner you can obtain it, the better off you will be.  Another common reason for not receiving a copy of the report is that you were too injured at the time.  In this case, it is advised that you have a friend or family member stay at the scene and make sure that you get a copy of the accident report or a report number to be used later. Some helpful tips to remember:

  1. Make sure that actual report is accurate.  Often times the accident report doesn’t reflect what actually happened and both you and your attorney will need to contact the law enforcement officers that created the report at the scene.
  2. In most instances, your own insurance will require this report to start with the filing of your claim.
  3. If you decide to file a lawsuit, this accident report will be vital because it is the most reliable piece of information regarding the accident and will be used as the starting point to forming a strong legal case. 
  4. While at the accident scene, it is important to make sure the officers speak with all witnesses or obtain the contact information for witnesses that may have had to leave the scene of the accident. If you were unable to provide the investigating officer with this information at the accident scene, make sure that the witnesses contact the appropriate officer as soon as possible thereafter.

After an Auto Accident

Once you have the accident report number you may obtain a copy from Central Records in Memphis, TN at 201 Poplar, 10th floor or via telephone at 901-636-3650. Normally your attorney will be happy to obtain a copy of the report for you. 

If you have been involved in an auto accident or have any questions, contact The Chiozza Law Firm by phone at 901-526-9494 or stop by our downtown office at 230 Adams a free consultation.

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Posted by Brian Chiozza at 7:51 AM
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