If you’re involved in a car accident in Lafayette, LA, that causes injury, death, or more than $500 in damage, you must immediately notify local law enforcement. An officer will then investigate the accident, prepare a report within 48 hours, and send it to the Department of Transportation and Development.

This report will form the initial basis for any claims regarding your accident. The report may establish which driver was at fault and other circumstances surrounding the event. If nothing else, the report will give your attorney and the insurance company an idea of where to begin when assessing your case.

Let’s look at car accident reports in more detail to understand how they can impact your case.

What Happens if I Fail To Report an Accident?

If you fail to report your car accident or you wait too long to report, you could be fined or even have your driver’s license suspended.

Failing to report the accident may also impact a potential personal injury case, as evidence of the accident may be lost or degraded if the accident is not investigated immediately. 

You also must exchange information with the other driver before leaving the scene. If you don’t, you may be guilty of fleeing the scene of an accident, which has much higher fines and may also include jail time. 

What’s In a Car Accident Report?

A car accident report will contain key facts regarding the accident, including the names of both drivers, the names of any witnesses, whether there were passengers, the location, descriptions of the vehicles, and insurance policy information.

How Do I Get a Copy of My Car Accident Report?

Crash reports can be requested from the jurisdiction that investigated the accident.

If the Louisiana State Police investigated your accident, you can request a report from their website. You must provide the name of the driver involved or the crash report number to retrieve the report. Reports are typically available online after 15 days.

If the Lafayette Police Department or Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office investigated your accident, you must request your crash report from their office. 

Only drivers involved in the accident or an authorized party can obtain a copy of the report. Authorized parties include parents of minor drivers, attorneys of one of the drivers, or the insurance company.

How Will My Attorney Use a Car Accident Report?

The car accident report will be the starting place for your attorney and the insurance company when determining liability in your case. If you already have a copy of your report, have it with you during your consultation or send it to your attorney. If you do not have a copy of your report already, your attorney can request it from the proper jurisdiction.

The report is just a starting point. If your attorney thinks the report does not accurately reflect who was responsible for the accident, they may suggest hiring an expert witness to challenge the findings in the report or support your version of events. 

Regardless, the car accident report is an important document to begin assessing your case.

Schedule a Free Consultation With an Experienced Lafayette Car Accident Attorney 

If you were injured in a car accident due to another driver’s negligence, you may be able to recover significant compensation for your injuries and other damages. Kenny Habetz Injury Law can help. Contact our experienced Lafayette car accident attorney to discuss your case. Your attorney can request a copy of your car accident report and discuss potential next steps in your case.

Contact the Louisiana Car Accident Law Firm Of Kenny Habetz Injury Law for Help Today

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, please call Kenny Habetz Injury Law for a free case evaluation with a Louisiana personal injury lawyer or contact us online. We have offices in Lafayette and Crowley, LA.

Kenny Habetz Injury Law – Lafayette
110 E Kaliste Saloom Rd Ste 101 Lafayette, LA 70508
(337) 399-9000

Kenny Habetz Injury Law – Crowley
604 S Parkerson Ave. Crowley, LA 70526
(337) 329-8883