Do I Have To File a Car Wreck Report?

Aug 31, 2017 | Allen A. Ritchie

Allen's Answers

What Not To Do After A Wreck

Let’s say you are going down I-10 (or more likely stopped) and have a minor collision with another car. Do you have to call and make an accident report? Well in some cases, no. But you should.

First, the legal reason. By law you are supposed to file an accident report if anyone is hurt or if the damage is over $250 dollars. That basically means if there is any damage at all, you are legally required to file.

Now, the lawyer reason. Without a report by a law enforcement officer you are gambling that the stranger you hit or who hit you is not going to claim … well, just about anything. If that driver says his medical condition is severe, you have no proof of what happened.  If he hit you and now says that you hit him, you have no proof.

Here is an example of what I mean. It involves a driver and a cyclist on a residential street.  When the car got alongside the bicycle, the cyclist fell over. The driver had not hit him but stopped wanting to offer help. When police arrived, they suggested a report be filed. The driver didn’t understand why he would be involved. The police said they knew the cyclist and that the driver would likely be sued in small claims court. The report would show that there was no evidence the cyclist had been hit by the car.

Remember in Alabama, you have up to 2 years to file a claim for damages. A lot of details can disappear as the time goes by. It is good to have those details in writing by someone who is not involved in the accident.

If you have questions especially about injury law, you can talk with the lawyers at Eiland and Ritchie for free. There is no cost until we collect for you. We want to help you get back on your feet.

Allen Ritchie

Personal Injury Attorney