Reporting car accidents in Fairfield County is important to comply with legal obligations as well as to protect your rights after a crash has happened. Connecticut is a fault state, with drivers required to buy liability coverage, uninsured motorist coverage, and underinsured motorist coverage, but not required to buy personal injury protection (PIP). A driver responsible for causing a motor vehicle accident should be accountable for paying for damages and losses, and his insurer will foot the bill. To make sure you get the money you need as a crash victim, you must make smart choices after a collision.
How to Report a Car Accident in Fairfield County
After involvement in a motor vehicle accident:
- Determine if you or anyone else involved in the crash has suffered injuries. You are required to stop at the scene of crashes where anyone is hurt or has been killed, otherwise you could be charged with a hit-and-run.
- Contact 911 or the non-emergency number of the police. If anyone is hurt, contact 911. If no one is hurt, the accident should still be reported. You can contact the non-emergency number to request a law enforcement officer come to the crash scene if no one has been badly hurt or killed and you do not wish to tie up the emergency line. The Fairfield police can be reached at (203) 254-4800. Police will complete a Uniform Accident Report, which can be invaluable in making a car accident claim.
- Take photographs. If you have a camera or a camera-equipped telephone, take detailed photos at the scene of the collision. Photograph the cars, the location of debris on the road, and the location where the collision happened. Photos can be evidence to help prove a car crash claim.
- Get information from all drivers involved. Find out their full names, contact details, and who their insurance providers are.
- Get information from all witnesses. You should be able to contact witnesses in case you end up having to prove how your collision happened.
- Call your own insurer and provide notice to your insurer about the crash. Make sure the insurer for the other driver is notified. Some motorists want to settle crash claims outside of insurance, but do not agree to this (especially if the other driver is responsible). If you do not notify your insurer of the crash, you could end up being denied coverage. Because Connecticut mandates the purchase of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, your insurer could end up paying your bills if it turns out the driver who caused your crash has insufficient liability protection.
- Provide a brief and factual report of the collision. Simply tell the insurer you were involved in a crash and provide the minimum of details. Don't offer extraneous information or information you are not directly asked about and don't provide more details than the bare minimum necessary to report the accident. You do not want to do anything to jeopardize your possible right to make a claim for crash compensation.
You should consider speaking with a legal professional for help reporting your claim and dealing with insurers, since insurance companies often try to pay less than car crash victims deserve. An experienced Fairfield County auto accident attorney will be in the best position to protect your rights and the financial well-being of you and your family.