Kansas City’s Favorite Law Firm Explains How to File an Accident Report for a Car Crash

Kansas City’s Favorite Law Firm Explains How to File an Accident Report for a Car CrashOnce the dust settles in a car accident, you may be at a loss for what to do next. One of the most important things you can do, though, is file or obtain a copy of the accident report. This document will be invaluable during insurance negotiations, as well as for any potential lawsuit you bring against the negligent driver.

What information is included in an accident report?

An accident report typically contains detailed information about an incident involving a vehicle collision or other types of accidents. Generally, an accident report includes information like:

  • Date, time, and location: The date, time, and precise location of the accident, including street names, intersections, or landmarks.
  • Vehicle information: Details about the vehicles involved, such as make, model, year, color, license plate numbers, and registration information.
  • Driver information: Information about the drivers involved, including names, addresses, phone numbers, driver’s license numbers, and insurance information.
  • Witness information: Contact details of any witnesses to the accident, along with any statements if available.
  • Description of events: A description of how the accident occurred, including factors like weather conditions, road conditions, and any contributing factors such as speeding, running a red light, or other violations.
  • Diagrams and photographs: Diagrams or sketches illustrating the accident scene, as well as photographs of the vehicles and any relevant road conditions.
  • Injuries and damage: Details about any injuries sustained by drivers, passengers, or pedestrians involved in the accident, as well as information about the extent of damage to vehicles or property.
  • Police officer statements and observations: Statements and observations made by responding police officers or other first responders who arrived at the scene.
  • Citations and charges: Any citations issued to drivers involved in the accident, as well as information about any charges filed as a result of the incident.

Reporting an accident in Missouri

When you notify police about your accident – which you are required to do under certain circumstances – the responding officer will fill out the accident report. You are required to call the police if the accident caused injury or death, a parked vehicle was involved, or if it caused property damage worth more than $500. If you don’t stop and call the police in any of these instances, you could be charged with a hit-and-run.

Here in Missouri, you are required to file an accident report for all but the most minor accidents. Per law, you have 30 days to report an accident that:

  • Occurred within the last year
  • Involved an uninsured motorist
  • Someone was injured or killed
  • Resulted in property damage exceeding $500

You can find the Missouri Motor Vehicle Accident Report Form here. You can mail the completed form to:

Driver License Bureau
301 West High Street – Room 470
PO Box 200
Jefferson City MO 65105-0200

It’s important to file an accident report, as your insurance company may deny a claim if no police report exists. Remember, filling out an accident report is not the same as reporting the accident to the insurance company – you must do that as well, as soon as possible after the accident. It’s important to check your policy to determine e how long you have to report the accident.

If you are looking for the accident report from the police, The Missouri State Highway Patrol holds copies of accident reports, and you can fill out this form to request yours. The report will cost you six dollars.

Reporting an accident in Kansas

In Kansas, you are not required to fill out an accident report if a police officer came to the scene of the accident. Under Kansas law, you must call the police if:

  • The accident caused property damage of $1,000 or more
  • Someone was injured or killed
  • The owner of the vehicle is not present or is unable to communicate

The Kansas Highway Patrol Crash Log allows you to view preliminary reports of accidents, searchable by date, county, and type of crash. You can request a copy of your accident report by visiting the Kansas Highway Patrol’s Accident Reports page. There is a five-dollar fee for each report.

If the police did not come to the scene and you wish to file a report, you can do so by phone or in person in Kansas City. Ensure you have your insurance information, registration, and driver’s license handy, as well as any other information you may have collected at the scene of the accident. You can see a copy of the accident report form here.

As stated, you’ll want to fill out an accident report if the authorities didn’t come to the scene of the accident. If you don’t fill out a form when required to do so, you may be charged with a misdemeanor for leaving the scene of an accident.

Do I need to notify my insurance company that I had an accident?

Yes. An accident report does not automatically report your accident to your insurance company. You will need to do that on your own, and it is highly recommended, especially if injuries are involved. Check your policy for details on how to report your accident, or call your insurance representative. You will need your police report and other pertinent information.

After you call your insurance company, they will open a claim and start their own investigation into the accident to see if you are entitled to damages. This is where your accident report comes in handy – to assist the insurance company in paying out your claim.

Most insurance policies require you to report any accidents promptly, typically within a specified timeframe, to ensure that your claim process goes smoothly. Failing to report an accident could potentially result in complications or even denial of coverage for the incident. So, it’s best to contact your insurance provider as soon as possible after the accident to inform them and initiate the claims process.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident and are unsure as to what to do next, contact a car accident lawyer at Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys as soon as possible. We can help ensure you have all the proper documentation and paperwork to report your claim to the authorities and your insurance company. We were recently voted Kansas City’s Favorite Law Firm – find out why. Get started now by calling our offices or submitting our contact form. We are available any time at our main office in Kansas City, MO. If that location does not work for you, feel free to schedule an appointment at one of our other convenient office locations in Lee’s Summit, Parkville and St. Joseph (MO); Olathe, Kansas City, and Overland Park (KS).