In the moments after a car accident, it can be difficult to know what to do next and how to handle the situation. We’ve already discussed the key points about the first steps drivers should take after being involved in an automobile accident, but one of the questions that is asked most frequently is: should you call the police after an accident?
Often, the police will arrive on the scene soon after a major accident. But if they do not, here are a few reasons to definitely call the police to report the event.
Call the police if:
- ● There looks to be significant property damage. This applies not just to the vehicles, but also to the surrounding area, including poles, fences, street lights, guard rails, and any structures that may have been affected.
- ● Traffic will be impacted by the event. If the collision was serious enough that vehicles cannot be easily moved out of the way of traffic, the police must be called to help clear the way.
- ● Any driver seems significantly impaired. Did the other driver seem drunk or disoriented? If you think there is any chance that he or she was engaged in illegal activity, call the authorities.
- ● Anyone has sustained serious bodily injury. Immediately call the police if anyone, either in the vehicles or a bystander, has been seriously injured by the accident.
- ● There has been a death. If anyone was killed in the accident, immediately contact the police.
While it may behoove you to have the police on the scene in many other scenarios, definitely call if any of these situations occur.
Do I need to get a copy of the police report?
A police report is the official documentation of circumstances surrounding the accident, as recorded by the officer who was on the scene at the time. This is considered the main reference for what occurred, and is an attempt to objectively describe the events.
It is important to obtain a copy of this police report for any and all accidents that you may have been involved in. This record will include details about participants, may have diagrams of the scene, and list possible or decided causes that relate to the accident.
This can be incredibly useful when it comes to filing an insurance claim for personal injury or property damage, and is critical for helping the insurance adjuster to determine fault and assess the facts. It is also a crucial document for anyone considering moving forward with legal action against another driver or participant.
In most cases, it is in everyone’s best interests to call law enforcement when an automobile accident has occurred. This ensures a neutral party is present and establishes an objective assessment of the scene.
If you have been involved in an accident and are considering legal action, Simon Law Group can help. Schedule an introductory meeting so we can discuss your options.]]>