Finding yourself involved in a car accident is never easy. The stress you will encounter simply because you were hit from behind or you tapped someone else’s car while approaching a red light can be enormous. There’s always the worry of dealing with insurance companies and whether or not they will make a payout that helps cover all of your expenses from the crash.
But you may have additional paperwork to fill out that you didn’t know you needed. For example, did you know that it is required under Oklahoma Statutes Section 10-108 that drivers involved in a car accident must report the accident in writing to the Department of Public Safety? Because of this law, the collision report could play a big role in any car crash lawsuit you decide to file.
Form is completed at the crash scene
One of the biggest benefits of the collision report is that the form is completed at the crash scene. What does this mean for your car accident lawsuit? For starters, the information you are writing down on the form is still fresh. You don’t have to recall it months after the crash in the hopes that what you are reporting is correct. You can be as descriptive as you need to be since you are still looking at the vehicles involved, the location, the conditions of the road and the traffic signs/signals that are present.
You should perform the following tasks while at the crash scene, according to the instructions found on Oklahoma Motor Vehicle Collision Report from the Department of Public Safety:
- Print your insurance information and name in the spaces provided
- Provide the other driver with all of your information and obtain the same from said driver
- Contact the other driver’s insurance agent as well as your own agent to report the crash
All of the sections on the form must be completed in order for the form to be accepted by the Department of Public Safety. The form will be returned to you if it is not completed in its entirety. The form must also be signed and dated.
Form can be accompanied by documented evidence of the crash
The collision report that must be filed with the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety can benefit your lawsuit in another way: you can submit the form with documents detailing the injuries and monetary damages from the crash. So, what can you submit with the report as evidence? The following documents are accepted:
- An itemized estimate signed and dated by an authorized owner or employee of a body shop that explains the cost of repair or total loss statement for the vehicle involved in the crash.
- Any copies of itemized bills or receipts for pharmacy visits, hospital stays and invoices from doctors related to the injuries suffered as a result of the car accident.
- The letter informing you that your claim was denied by the other driver’s insurance company.
- An itemized list of costs incurred due to property damage, other than to your vehicle, that occurred as a result of the crash.
When you attach copies of all these documents to the completed collision report it can be used as evidence in any lawsuit you decide to file against the parties responsible for the crash. Compiling all of this information for the collision report puts you ahead of the game when you go to file the lawsuit.
Need help filing a claim after a car accident? Cunningham & Mears can help. We know what to do with the collision report, and how to use it to show evidence of your injuries. Please call today at 405-212-9234 to schedule a consultation at our office in Oklahoma City. You can also complete the contact form found on the website and someone will reach out to you as soon as possible.