Whether you live in Los Angeles or are just visiting, the odds of getting into a car accident are high. After all, the population of Los Angeles County is a staggering 9,861,000 people. That’s more than many states.
If you are constantly driving around in Los Angeles, you may have found yourself wondering what you should do in the event of a car accident. More specifically, are you required to call 911 if the accident was relatively minor? Here is what you need to know.
Remain Calm If You’re in a Collision
Following an accident, the odds are that you will be unnerved and panicked. After all, this is a potentially life-altering experience that doesn’t happen every day.
With this in mind, it is important to remain as calm as possible. Assess the situation and check yourself and your passengers for any injuries. After that, get to a safe place and decide what to do next.
When To Report a Car Accident in Los Angeles
California actually has several regulations regarding what drivers must do following an accident. Together, these statutes can seem overwhelming, especially if you are just learning about them after an accident.
All accidents in California must be reported to the proper authorities if any of the following is true:
- There are any injuries whatsoever, including minor scrapes and bruises
- The accident resulted in over $1,000 in property damage
- Any involved driver is intoxicated
- Any involved driver is operating a vehicle without a license
- Anyone has been killed as a result of the accident
- You were involved in a hit-and-run accident
In addition to knowing the legal requirements, it is imperative to understand how to report the accident.
Calling the Proper Authorities
In addition to calling 911 after the accident, you need to make sure to report the details to the proper authorities. Depending on the severity of the accident, authorities could include the police, the California DMV, and your insurance provider.
Some accidents require individuals to report to all three of the above agencies. Additionally, accidents must be reported to the DMV within ten days, or the individuals involved could lose their driving privileges. Remember that you are responsible for yourself when it comes to reporting an accident; don’t rely on or wait for other parties to do so first.
When Is It Not Required to Call the Police in Los Angeles?
If you feel like you need the police, do not hesitate to call them. However, you may not need to in certain instances.
You are not required to call the police if the damage is below $1,000, no one has been injured, no one is intoxicated, no one has fled the scene, and everyone has proper licensure. In these instances, it may be more agreeable for all parties to simply exchange insurance information and consult their insurance providers.
Keep in mind that assessing damage is best left to a professional. If any of the vehicles involved incur cosmetic body damage, it may very well cost over $1,000 to repair.
Fortunately, if you take the vehicle to a professional, you will likely have an estimate in a few days. This is why it is important to exchange accurate contact information with all parties involved in the accident.
The Importance of Reporting an Accident To the Police After A Collision in Los Angeles, CA
Reporting an accident starts a chain of critical events. First, it initiates the documentation process and serves as evidence should you need to file a claim or lawsuit. Second, it may be legally required. Finally, it could potentially shield you from future legal problems.
When in doubt, it’s safest to call the police at the accident scene to report the wreck. Police may not be dispatched in every case, but you’ll ensure that you fulfill your legal obligations.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in Los Angeles, CA
If you were injured in a car accident in Los Angeles, CA or you lost a loved one and you need legal assistance, please contact us to schedule a free consultation. A Los Angeles car accident lawyer at M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers will get in touch with you soon.