Thousands of people get in car accidents each day on the highways, city streets, parking lots, and private property. Although there are times when calling the police is obvious, other times, it may not be clear.
Should you call the police and have them write an accident report for a minor accident? Should you call the police for an accident that involves property damage but no apparent injuries? There are many reasons why you should immediately contact the police after an accident.
When Should You File a Police Report?
You should always call the police, from an accident scene, to report an accident. After a severe accident, calling the police will ensure that injured people receive the care they need.
You should also call the police when a minor accident occurs. Even when no-one appears to be hurt, and property damage seems minimal. Why? Because police officers are unbiased witnesses and will file a police report containing all essential accident information. Consider contacting a car crash lawyer Los Angeles for help.
Here are some excellent reasons you should call the police and ask them to make a police report at the accident scene.
- Trained police officers can look at accident scene information and provide a “new” perspective. Accident victims are generally too upset to think clearly and sort through everything that happened.
- A police officer will document accident details before you forget what occurred.
- Accident injuries may take hours or days to appear. You never know when you will need documented evidence of the accident to help with potential personal injury claims.
- Without a police report to detail the facts, the other driver or passengers may blame you for the accident and file a lawsuit against you for personal injuries.
What Does The Law Require?
Every state has rules that drivers must follow. California requires that drivers file an accident report with the Department of Motor Vehicles when property damage exceeds $1,000 or an injury or death occurs. Drivers must file the report within ten days of the accident.
Suppose an accident causes injury, death, or more than $750 in damage. In that case, California requires that drivers notify the police in that jurisdiction. If you are not sure, it is always better to call the police.
Insurance companies require their policyholders to notify them of an accident. Generally, drivers have 24 hours to contact their insurance company and provide them with the details. After an accident, get the other driver’s name, address, phone number, license, and license plate information, vehicle make and model, and insurance information.
If you are injured in an accident and need advice, call a car accident lawyer Los Angeles CA.
What If I Don’t File an Accident Report?
Even if the laws do not require drivers to call the police, insurance companies and personal injury lawyers recommend contacting them. Why? Because if you don’t call the police, an unscrupulous driver may claim you left the scene of the accident. The driver may also say you were responsible for the accident or make other false statements.
Equally as important, you want to document any injuries you may have sustained. After an accident, it is common for accident victims to be upset, not think clearly, and mistake their aches and pains for tension. Besides, many injuries manifest themselves hours or days after an accident. If you don’t call the police and document the accident, it may limit or compromise your injury case.
What If The Other Driver Does Not Wait For The Police?
Suppose the other driver refuses to wait for the police. In that case, there isn’t much you can do other than to request the driver provide a recorded or written statement of the accident. Written and recorded statements should include the driver’s name, address, phone number, date, time, description of the accident, and a responsibility declaration.
If No-one files A Police Report
While police reports help provide an additional perspective, they aren’t always necessary. But keep in mind that police reports can be helpful during settlement negotiations. Whether you get a police report or not, your car accident lawyer Los Angeles California can help prove your personal injury case using the following information.
- Eyewitness accounts
- Video recordings from vehicles, traffic surveillance footage, and nearby business and residential cameras
- Accident recreation
- Physical damage to the vehicles and property
Should I Contact A Los Angeles Car Crash Attorney?
If injured in an accident, consider calling a car crash lawyer Los Angeles for help. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you obtain the compensation you deserve, even if a police officer never filed a report.
Do you want an aggressive Los Angeles car crash attorney on your side?
Contact M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation.
Call (877) 771-8175