Whether you live in Kentucky or are just passing through, if you are in a wreck, you need to file an accident report with the Kentucky State Police (KSP). If you have never been in a wreck before, you probably have many questions. Here are answers to a few frequently asked questions that you may have yourself (http://www.harvillelaw.com/car-accidents/):
Does everyone need to file an accident report?
If your accident results in more than $500 in damages, you need to file an accident report. Most of the time, a car crash will be well over this threshold, and even if the vehicles look okay, there could be medical bills that can easily exceed the $500 mark within just a couple of appointments. With that in mind, it is best to simply file the report.
Who do I file an accident report with?
You need to call the Kentucky State Police. They will send out a trooper who can speak with you, gather the necessary details, and complete a report on the spot. Since most people don’t keep the state police phone number on hand, you can always call 911 and ask them to direct you.
What if I don’t have time to wait for the KSP to arrive?
There is an option to get the form online, print it, and complete it before then turning it in. Just be sure that you do so within a week of the accident. If you fail to file a report, you could be fined, and it could make it difficult to get your medical bills and other financial damages paid for later on.
What information goes on the accident report?
When the troopers arrive, they will first look at the accident scene and what could have happened to cause the wreck. For example, did one vehicle clearly run a red light? Was there flooding on the road that likely caused the crash? By observing the road conditions and atmosphere around the crash, they can make note of their observations and what they believe potentially influenced the accident.
The KSP form lists the basic personal information for both drivers, such as name, address, and phone number. Additionally, the driver’s license number and date of birth for each driver is taken down. It also documents the make, model, and year of the vehicles, along with the registration and license plate numbers.
The report also asks for the name and contact information of all passengers. Since they can be useful witnesses, this is beneficial for you. Simultaneously, they too may have been injured and have a claim.
The accident report also has space for the trooper to estimate the damage done to each vehicle and the cost to repair it, along with any other property damage. While they are certainly not experts in fixing cars, these estimates can provide a baseline of information, so it is important that you not say anything that could reduce the reported damage to your vehicle or your person. Saying things like “I’m fine, the car’s fine,” are not in your best interest. Instead, say that your car is damaged, you will be taking it to the auto body shop, and that you feel hurt and are going to be examined. Leave it up to the professionals to determine the extent of the damage and your injuries.
The last thing the report identifies is the insurance information for both drivers.
Is it better for me to have a trooper complete the report or to do it myself?
That really depends on how much time you have and the severity of your accident. If your wreck was really bad, it is likely that you need to have them come out and help with your vehicle anyway. You may also need to ride an ambulance to the ER. In this case, you should have the police complete the report. The only time it really doesn’t make sense to do so is if the accident was incredibly minor or the police are delayed in arriving at your location.
What is the report used for?
Your insurance company will get a copy of it after requesting it. As a car accident attorney, I will often reference the report when building a case and trying to prove negligence (http://www.harvillelaw.com/).
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