A car accident is confusing and overwhelming for those involved. It is easy to mix up facts or misremember things, especially if you are distracted by an injury. A police report is a critical document for a car insurance claim, as it will contain facts about your accident in writing. Filing a police report is a requirement in New Mexico in certain situations.
What Is the Best Way to File a Police Report in Albuquerque, NM?
You can file a police report by calling 911 from the scene of the car accident. After creating the report, the responding law enforcement officer will submit it to the New Mexico Department of Transportation (DOT) for you within 24 hours.
In New Mexico, calling 911 as soon as possible after a collision is a legal requirement if the accident was serious. New Mexico Statutes Annotated Section 66-7-207 dictates that a driver must obtain a police report if there were injuries, fatalities or property damage worth at least $500. If an accident causes more than $1,000 in property damage, a uniform crash report is required.
If you fail to report a serious car accident to the police, you could face criminal charges for a hit-and-run. This could lead to a fine, the suspension of your driver’s license, no financial compensation for your related losses, and even a misdemeanor or felony charge.
What Is Included in a Car Accident Report?
An official car accident police report can help your car accident case. This official document can prove to an insurance company, judge or jury that the accident happened the way you say it did. It can help you document your losses, such as the extent of your injuries and property damage, and prove the other driver is at fault.
A police report in New Mexico can contain a lot of information about a crash, including:
- The time, date and location
- A description of the accident
- Both drivers’ full names
- Each driver’s insurance information
- Descriptions of both vehicles
- License plate and vehicle identification numbers
- The names and contact phone numbers of eyewitnesses
- Any citations against either driver
A police officer can collect this information and take official photographs of the crash site for you while you are with paramedics receiving medical care. Having a police officer at the scene can remove the responsibility of acquiring information from your shoulders.
What Should You Say to the Police After a Car Accident?
When the police arrive at the scene of your car accident, answer the officer’s questions honestly. Describe the accident from your side of things, but do not admit any fault. When asked if you have any injuries, say you don’t know if you aren’t currently experiencing any symptoms. You may have an injury with delayed symptoms – especially if your adrenaline is masking pain. Wait until you have seen a doctor to answer questions about your injuries.
How to Obtain a Copy of Your Police Report in Albuquerque
Before you leave the scene of your car accident, ask for your police report number. Wait at least 24 hours before calling to request a copy of your police report. During this time, you can give your insurance company the police report number for reference to begin your claim.
Request a copy of your police report by calling the police station in the county where your car accident took place and giving them your information to locate the correct report. This is the Albuquerque Police Department if you were injured in a car accident in Albuquerque.
You may need to fill out a record request form from the police department and pay a fee to access the document. The fee to obtain a copy of a traffic accident report is currently $7.50 per document. You may need to print multiple copies for your car accident claim. If you need assistance obtaining a copy of your police report, contact a car accident lawyer for help.