You should call the police when you are involved in a car crash, especially if it caused injuries or significant property damage. A police officer can:
- Ensure that everyone at the scene, including you, is safe and gets necessary medical care
- Preserve any evidence at the accident scene
- Speak with witnesses
- Create a comprehensive report of the accident
- Notify other emergency responders of the accident
In some cases, you may be required by law to call the police. However, doing so can be beneficial for your potential car accident claim, even if you think the crash is minor.
Risks of Failing to Call the Police After a Car Crash
You take several risks if you fail to call the police after an accident. For example, failure to notify law enforcement may:
Limit Documentation of Your Accident
A police report is a crucial form of evidence in a car accident case. Whether you’re filing an insurance claim or lawsuit, a police report provides:
- Official documentation that your accident happened
- An unbiased record of events
If you don’t call the police when you’re involved in a car crash, you’re willingly forgoing this key piece of evidence. Without a police report, liable parties may contest your version of events.
Make You Appear Negligent
Fair or not, your failure to call law enforcement may create a perception of negligence. Insurers may wonder why you don’t have this document to support your claim for damages, making it more difficult for you to secure compensation.
Expose You to Criminal Sanctions
Some states require you to call the police for accidents that cause:
- Bodily injury or death
- A certain dollar amount of property damage
It is not always clear whether someone is injured after an accident. It may also be unclear how much property damage will cost. Therefore, the safe move is to call law enforcement. Doing so will shield you from any allegations that you failed to report your accident.
Does Law Enforcement Always Come to an Accident Scene?
Police officers and emergency medical services should generally go to an accident scene when called. However, there are always exceptions to best practices. If a law enforcement agency does not come to the scene in a reasonable timeframe—or at all—then you must act accordingly.
If you do not have the benefit of police at your scene, then you must:
- Obtain the other drivers’ personal and insurance information
- Obtain the names and contact information of any witnesses at the scene
- Gather any evidence that is immediately available to you
- Act cautiously in all respects
You may wait near the scene, call law enforcement again to monitor their response, and call an attorney for additional protection.
Additional Steps to Take After Your Accident
Once you have notified the police of your accident, your next call may be to a law firm. A lawyer can protect and advise you after your collision.
For example, just after your accident, an attorney can:
- Protect you from actions that could harm your case: Accident victims sometimes have understandable but self-sabotaging impulses. For instance, you may be inclined to apologize to others involved in your accident. A lawyer will advise you not to apologize and to refrain from other acts that could harm your case.
- Help you get medical care: Your attorney can ensure that you receive medical care soon after your accident. They will also document any care that you receive.
- Document your accident: A lawyer will move quickly to obtain and preserve evidence, which may include identifying witnesses and collecting their accounts. Your attorney will seek the clearest possible picture of how your accident happened.
- Deal with insurance companies: You may need to contact insurance companies after a collision. Your attorney can deal with insurers on your behalf so that your rights remain intact.
After gathering relevant facts and evidence, your lawyer will develop a plan for your case. Their plan may involve an insurance claim or more significant actions like a lawsuit.
Recoverable Damages in a Car Accident Case
Victims of car accidents can seek compensation for their losses. If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one in a motor vehicle crash, your recoverable losses may include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Lost earning power
- Pain and suffering
- Temporary transportation
- Vehicle repairs
- Repair or replacement of other personal property
- Lost quality of life
- All other accident-related damages
Insurance does not always cover a victim’s losses. Instead, you may decide to file a lawsuit to seek additional damages. An attorney can help you decide which action is best for you.
Call George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers Today for a Free Consultation
Call our firm as soon as possible after a car crash. Our team will act quickly to investigate your accident and file your case.
Call George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation. We have a track record of success in car accident cases. We will fight for your financial recovery.