By: Josh Ferrell
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Should I call the police after a minor collision?
If you are in a multi-car accident or a collision that leaves your vehicle non-operable, calling law enforcement is a no-brainer. They can have someone direct traffic, make sure nobody else wrecks because of the debris, and investigate.
But what should you do after a less serious accident? Is it always necessary to call the emergency services? YES.
Even if you are in a minor fender bender, it is important to report your accident to the police. The most important reason is for safety’s sake. You may not be on a busy highway, but the scene of your accident could still pose a hazard to other motorists. The police or fire department will secure the area and, if necessary, call in others to clean up spilled liquids and broken glass.
Being in an accident can also be so upsetting that you don’t realize you or another person involved has been injured. You may be distracted or in a state of shock and not realize an ambulance should be called. Emergency services personnel are trained to assess a scene and call-in medical support if needed.
Police Reports are Important Evidence
It is also important to call the police so that an official, unbiased record of the accident will be created. This report is often the most valuable piece of evidence when it comes time to negotiate a settlement with your insurance company or file a lawsuit against the other driver. Additionally, the insure that they get the necessary information of the other driver and can issue citations for failure to provide the same.
Most police reports contain the following information:
- The date, time, and location of the accident.
- Contact information and insurance information for all the people involved in the accident.
- The names and contact information of witnesses.
- A summary of the statements provided by the parties and the witnesses.
- Information about the scene of the accident – including the condition of the road, the weather, and the lighting in the area.
- A description of the damage done to the vehicles involved in the accident.
- Information about any tickets or warnings given out.
Often, the report will also include:
- A diagram of the accident.
- Pictures of the scene and the damage.
- The officer’s opinion on who was at fault.
A police report is a key piece of evidence in every accident case, and if you don’t call law enforcement, you won’t get a report.
Not Every Driver is Trustworthy
If the other driver insists that you should not bother calling the police, you should be suspicious.
What are they trying to hide? Are they drunk? Did they let their insurance expire? Are they hiding some sort of contraband in their trunk?
Even if the other driver gives you all their contact information and allows you to take a picture of their insurance card and license plates, you should still make a formal report.
It’s the Law
In most states, reporting your accident to the appropriate agenc(ies) is required by law. The police will forward any accident report they write up to the appropriate departments so you don’t have to worry about doing any extra paperwork.
Don’t risk your safety, your license, a fine, or losing out on the compensation you deserve. Report every car collision to the police, no matter how minor it may seem.
SERIOUS INJURIES – REQUIRE SERIOUS ATTORNEYS
Our firm understands the repercussions of a serious accident. If you are injured due to another party’s negligence, you should not have to fight the uphill battle for compensation on your own. When you hire Ferrell & Brown, you are hiring a devoted, caring, and aggressive team who will tenaciously fight for you. If you or someone you know was injured in a wreck and wishes to schedule a consultation, please do not hesitate to contact Ferrell & Brown.