It is a common question asked of lawyers, and searched on the internet – should I call the police after a car accident? For some people, it is an immediate response, no matter how “minor” the accident may seem. For others, it seems like a hassle. And of course, there are some people who avoid calling the police because they have something to hide.
With that said, as a general rule, should you call the police after a car accident? Here is some advice from The Embry Law Firm.
Should I Call the Police After a Fender-Bender?
A fender-bender is a minor accident that usually does not involve injuries. Sometimes, it doesn’t even involve noticeable damage. So should you call the police? Our recommendation is yes. Even a minor accident can result in property damage and an insurance claim. It is best to call the police so there is documentation of what happened. Also, if another party involved gets antsy or aggressive, a police officer can diffuse and control the situation.
Sometimes with fender-benders, police may just tell you to exchange information, and may not write up a formal report. Depending on the situation, they may or may not issue a citation if someone was breaking the law. If you are told to exchange information, here is what you should obtain:
- Name, address, and phone number
- Name and phone number of their car insurance company
- Insurance policy number
- License plate number
- Photographs of damages
- Photographs and video of the scene
Should I Call the Police After a Car Accident with Injuries?
If you are involved in a car accident with injuries, you should always call the police immediately. Call 911 and request police and medical assistance. You may be safe to remain at the scene, or you may require transport to a local hospital. In either case, the police officer(s) on the scene will begin to investigate the accident and complete a report.
The police report will detail what happened, who was involved, and if any laws were broken. Police officers will interview witnesses and photograph the scene. If you are in the hospital, they will generally come to visit you there and get a statement if possible.
Why Is It Important that I Call the Police?
There are a few reasons why calling police is a good idea after a car accident, no matter how minor or serious it seems. These include:
- Police presence diffuses bad attitudes and behaviors.
- Police are trained to help manage high-stress situations.
- If there are injuries, police can help until EMTs arrive.
- If there are factors like alcohol or drugs involved, police know how to secure the individual and make sure everyone is safe.
- If the accident is a hit-and-run, police officers need to be called to the scene to start gathering evidence.
- If you file insurance or personal injury claims, police can help verify your statements and may be called to testify if the case goes to trial.
- A formal police report can validate your claims to insurance companies who may minimize or reject property damage claims.
- A police report can sometimes expedite the insurance claims process.
If you call the police and they come out but do not file a report, or they do not come to the accident scene, you can file a report on your own with the local police precinct.
Should I Call an Attorney After a Car Accident?
Calling the police after a car accident may seem like an obvious decision, but you may also be questioning whether you should call an attorney. If your car accident was caused by someone else and you suffered physical or mental injuries, you should call a car accident attorney. You may be eligible to file a personal injury claim and recover damages. The damages recovered in a personal injury claim can help you cover the costs of:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Property damage
To find out if you have grounds to file a personal injury claim, contact The Embry Law Firm. A free consultation with our car accident attorney can help you make sure your rights are protected, and that you get the compensation you deserve.
Contact The Embry Law Firm by calling toll free at 844-443-6279. You can also email us via the form on our website.