Did you have a car crash in Arizona? Then you might need an accident report. Below, our team explains why crash reports matter and how to read your AZ crash report.
What Is an Arizona Car Accident Report?
A car accident report is a legally significant record. It sets out the facts and circumstances of a road accident, including:
- What happened at the scene and
- Who likely caused the crash.
The officers who attend the scene complete the report. This could be a regular police officer or a member of the Arizona Highway Patrol.
When you get a copy of your report, keep it safe. You can use an Arizona crash report as part of a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim.
Who Needs an Arizona Crash Report?
There’s no need to report every road accident in Arizona. However, in most cases, you should report an accident.
Legally, you need a crash report in Arizona if:
- The crash caused any personal injury, however minor
- Someone died at the scene
- There is significant property damage (worth over $2,000)
If you don’t get a crash report when you need one, then you could face hit-and-run charges. These are very serious charges, but if you err on the safe side and report a crash, you can avoid them.
What Is Included in the Accident Report?
Now we’ve covered the basics, let’s take a deeper dive into what you’ll find in a crash report.
1. Accident Details
Every Arizona crash report begins with the key accident details. This information includes the date, time, and location of the crash. However, it also includes other critical details, including:
- Road conditions: Includes poor weather such as hail or rain.
- Light conditions: If the crash took place during the day or night.
- Types of vehicles hit: The report will note if any EMT, police, or responder vehicles were involved.
2. Personal Information
The report also includes each driver(s) personal details. This includes:
- Full name
- License number
- Car license plate number/VIN
- Telephone number
- Residential address
If there are pedestrians or other road users, e.g., cyclists involved, this is noted.
3. Witness Details
There are not always witnesses to a crash. However, the report should include details of anyone who did see (or hear) what happened. Witness evidence can be invaluable, especially when it’s otherwise unclear who caused the accident.
The police may contact these individuals to provide witness statements. Depending on their account(s), this information could help prove your case.
4. Officer’s Narrative
Unless an officer saw what happened, they can only draw conclusions based on evidence from the scene. And as with all evidence, the at-fault party can challenge the officer’s account.
However, the officer’s description of events is still compelling. The officer should describe, based on an objective assessment of the facts, what most likely happened. They may also indicate who (or what) they believe caused the crash.
Check the officer’s narrative carefully. If there are any errors, no matter how minor, contact the police department immediately. Or, if you have a personal injury attorney, explain the situation.
Any errors can be fatal to your civil lawsuit or insurance claim. Don’t hesitate to have a report amended if it’s inaccurate in any way.
5. Citations and Contributing Factors
The officer will indicate any citations issued at the scene, e.g., tickets for a DUI or hit-and-run. They’ll also note any possible contributing factors, such as:
- Distracted or careless driving behavior
- Road obstructions
- Severe weather conditions
Not every accident involves a contributing factor. In such cases, the officer can choose the option “no contributing circumstance.”
An officer may draw a diagram depicting what likely happened at the scene. This is known as the “crash diagram.” Such diagrams can help to demonstrate how the crash unfolded. As with the officer’s narrative, you can challenge the diagram if it’s unhelpful or inaccurate.
7. Injuries and Property Damage
This part of any Arizona crash report is critical. The officer will indicate who sustained injuries at the scene and the injury severity. They’ll also note any property damage identifiable at the scene.
If you need to make a personal injury or insurance claim, the report can confirm your losses.
Don’t worry if further losses are identified later, though. This is common. After all, you still need to seek medical attention. And your car will need an inspection by a qualified mechanic.
Your attorney will use all evidence available to get you the maximum settlement possible.
Obtaining a Copy of an Arizona Accident Report
It’s easy to get a copy of your Arizona crash report if you know where to look. However, for most individuals, this is the hardest part!
It can be time-consuming to find the right department and request a copy of your report. This is time you may not have if you’re trying to file an insurance claim. Auto Accident Report does the hard work for you.
- We’ll quickly locate your report and explain how you might access it.
- Rather than spending time contacting various police departments, you’ll know exactly how to proceed.
- Simply provide us with a few simple details, and we’ll handle the rest.
Try our no-obligation service today for free. And if you don’t want to connect with our attorneys or medical experts, this is not a problem. We can still help you locate your Arizona car accident report!
What to Do With Your Report
Once you have your Arizona crash report, you should take the following action:
- Check that it’s accurate
- Make a copy for your own records
- Send a copy to the Arizona DMV (if there’s a personal injury or property damage over $2,000)
- Provide a copy to your insurance company
- Forward a copy to your attorney (if they didn’t obtain the report for you)
Your lawyer can explain if there’s any other specific action you should take, depending on the case.
Get Your Arizona Accident Report Today
Whether it’s a police report or Arizona Highway Patrol accident report, we can assist.
Our team knows where to look to find the right report at the right time. We will help you move your claim forward so you can focus on life after the crash. We’ll even match you with a medical or legal expert, if you require this service!
It only takes a few moments to complete our form. We’ll deliver the result straight to your inbox so you can quickly obtain your report. Get started now and get your Arizona accident report online.