In Connecticut, when a car accident occurs, there are certain rules that need to be followed. You cannot simply file for an insurance claim and go on your merry way. Quick decisions need to be made after the accident so that you are covered legally and financially. In some states, you have 5 days to file a police report and in others 10. Connecticut falls in the latter. Keep reading to find out what needs to be done to file a police report.
Following are 8 steps that you need to follow after you have been in a Connecticut car accident:
Stop and Call 911
Someone hit your car on the highway and now both the injured parties are standing at the side of the road. Your first step here should be to call 911. This ensures that the emergency services are on the way and then you need to relay the following information to the police:
- Accident location (nearest intersection, exit, or mile marker)
- Injuries (find out if anyone is bleeding)
- Accident scene details (from broken glass to dented car sides and leaking fluid, tell the police everything)
According to Connecticut Statutes §14-224, whether you are or not responsible for the accident, you should remain at the scene of the accident. Until the police and other emergency services arrive, you need to exchange your name, driver’s license number, address, and registration information with the other party. The same falls on you when you have you crashed your car into someone else’s property.
In order to file a police report and an insurance claim, you need to have evidence of the other driver’s negligence. However, finding out which party is liable can be quite challenging. We have already mentioned the basic information that you need to get. According to Connecticut law, you also need to get the following information:
- Driver’s business address
- The model, make, and year of the car
- Vehicle Identification Number
- Names of the passengers, address, phone numbers, and dates of birth
- Witness contact information and names (you can ask bystanders to speak for you but they are not legally required to give a statement)
- Note down the positions of the car and your account of the accident
- Take pictures of the accident scene from every angle
- Take pictures of both the cars
Call Your Insurance Company
According to the insurance policy’s section “Notice of Occurrence and Cooperation Clause,” you need to notify your insurance company immediately about the accident even if you are not at fault. This way, the company will be able to protect you in case an unwarranted claim of personal injury or property damage is filled.
Many people assume that there’s no reason to report a fender-bender because the other party wasn’t hurt. However, this is a mistake because, oftentimes, the symptoms appear quite late and this can be grounds for a claim.
If you are the injured party, then ask for the other party’s insurance details. Here, you are entitled to reimbursement for pain and suffering, lost wages, out-of-pocket personal expenses, and medical bills.
File a Police Report
As mentioned earlier, you have exactly 5 days to file an accident report with the police in Connecticut after a car accident. Any damage to property and injuries that exceed $1,000 needed to be reported right after the accident. Within these 5 days, the report is processed and forwarded to the Connecticut Department of Transportation.
According to the Connecticut Statutes §14-108, even if the damage is small, a police report should be filed as it makes it easier for you to file an insurance claim. Submit Form PR-1 to the police station, which can be downloaded online.
Understanding 3rd Party Liability Insurance
According to the 3rd party liability law, the driver responsible for the accident is also responsible for all the damages caused. If the other party is at fault, you can file a claim with your insurance company or the driver’s insurance company. If both options don’t appeal to you, you can take the case to the court by sueing the driver.
Understanding Auto Insurance Laws
According to Connecticut Statutes §14-112, you are required to carry minimum liability and property damage coverage and insurance.
Minimum Statutory Limits Under Connecticut Law
- $10,000/per accident for property damage
- $20,000/person in under-insured and uninsured motorist coverage
- $40,000/per accident when more than two people are injured
- $40,000/accident in under-insured and uninsured motorist coverage
Contributory Negligence Law in Connecticut
When both parties are at fault in the car accident, the Contributory Negligence Law comes into effect. According to this law, it is determined who is more at fault. If one driver is to be found 51% or more at fault, the other driver doesn’t receive compensation.
Talk to the Police
Once the investigation starts at the site of the car accident, you need to follow every word the police officers say. You can plead with the officers and convince them that you don’t deserve the ticket. If things don’t go your way, you will have to accept the hearing. If you believe you are not at fault, you can subpoena the driver and the police who wrote you the ticket.
Once your case is in session, as the plaintiff, you will have 2 years to settle the personal injury and property damage claim.
This concludes our steps that you need to follow after a car accident in Connecticut. If you are looking for a qualified insurance agent who holds years of experience in this field, then visit Pawson. The company provides different types of car insurance policies with additional coverage as well. To know more about their policies, contact them at 203-481-8898.
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