Do You Have to Call the Police After an Accident? 5 Legal Tips
Car accidents can leave you blindsided and throw you into a panic when they happen. It can happen to any motorist at any time, which is why we should drive safely and defensively as much as possible. In the event that it hits you, you need to keep your calm and prepare for which actions you should take.
Do you have to call the police after an accident? This is one question that you would likely ask right away. Today, we will answer that question and also look at the tips that would help you in such a situation.
Stop, Observe, Assist
“What do I do when I am in an accident?”
This question might leave you paralyzed when in that situation. You might be wondering about what to do after an accident.
One of the first things you should do is to stop and check to see what is going on. Stopping and providing assistance is a requirement. Especially when it comes to helping injured people caught in the accident.
Driving off would not be your best option at this point as it can lead to various legal ramifications, including the risk of getting your driver’s license revoked or worse. Leaving the scene of the accident and not providing aid is a felony. This would leave you with paying a fine or getting jailed.
In such a situation, assess what is around you. Check if you sustained any injuries and take note of the extent of the damage.
Once you have done so, check for anyone that may have sustained any injuries. Provide any form of assistance that you can render.
Call the Emergency Hotline and the Police
This should be the next step that you should take right away. Who to call after an accident, though? Start by calling the emergency hotline, such as 911, after providing aid.
Among those that should be on the scene are the paramedics to treat the injured. They would come right away if an accident takes place. They would assist you as well in case you also sustained any injuries due to the accident.
Now, do you have to call the police after an accident? The answer to this question is yes. Here are the reasons why you should.
Calling the Police is a Requirement
Some laws would need police assistance in the event of an accident. You must notify the police when you struck or injure a person in an accident.
This also applies if you got involved in an accident. One that resulted in injury or death, or if there was any form of vehicular damage.
Other details would show that you need to contact the police in such instances. For instance, if the accident involved a bicyclist or an animal getting injured.
Ensures Cooperation from Other Driver
When it comes to accidents, there would be situations where the other driver involved would refuse to cooperate or would also make attempts to deny responsibility and insist on settling the dispute without police supervision.
Calling for the police can help you in avoiding such a situation. Note that the other driver is a complete stranger.
It would be best to have police involvement when you have any doubt. This way, you have an official accident report.
Can Assist in Settling Disputes
Situations such as this one would always result in motorists disputing who is at fault. With police presence, a proper investigation and report can set the matters straight.
It can also take note of details on who caused the problem first. It also prevents the other driver from tossing the blame at you without proper mediation.
Insurance Companies Might Require Police Reports
Some insurance policies, especially car insurance policies, may need a police report. These can help in settling the payment for damages or injuries. Especially if you plan to let the insurance policy cover them.
With police assistance, you would be able to get the police report needed. This ensures the insurance covers you in a timely fashion.
For When Unseen Injuries Manifest
Some injuries would remain unseen and unnoticed. This tends to be the case due to shock or adrenaline.
These types of injuries manifest a few days or a few weeks after the accident. In those scenarios, it may prove difficult to find evidence that the injury came from the crash.
This is where the police report helps. It provides you a key piece of evidence that would help you pursue the other driver for personal injury damages.
Do Not Admit Fault Immediately
When in an accident, remember to stay calm as you go about the situation. Do not do anything drastic in such circumstances. That also includes admitting fault immediately.
In such situations, there would be attempts from the other party to have you settle the matter and make the settlement easier. In this case, you would see them offer you cash compensation. They might also ask you to sign an insurance claim to settle the matter.
Do not rush anything. More so if it involves giving up your rights or receiving a quick payout. This also means not providing any written or recorded statement to the other driver or their insurance company.
The best course of action here is to not sign anything offered. Instead, consult your insurance provider and your lawyer.
This way, you would know that the settlement would have your best interests in mind. Thus allowing both sides to find an amicable agreement.
Exchange Insurance Information
Being in a dialogue where both sides exchange insurance information can help matters. This includes your name, address, vehicle registration information, and your insurance information. After which, you provide these details to those involved in the accident.
One thing to note in doing this is that you only provide the basic information. Do not volunteer information that goes beyond the required minimum. It may put you at a disadvantage if you give too much information on that matter.
Along with this, you also need to obtain these details and information. You get them from the ones involved in the crash and the eyewitnesses in the area. Ask for the license plates and vehicle identification numbers, then verify with the driver’s licenses and vehicle registration.
Contact Your Lawyer and Your Insurance Company
Before taking on any agreements or offers, consider calling your lawyer and your insurance company first. Consult with them about various aspects and matters involving vehicular accidents.
Consult Your Lawyer
Contacting and consulting your lawyer can help you with this situation. They can guide you through the legal aspects of the accident. This includes legal counsel and advice.
There is also information on how you can protect yourself in this particular case. You can check the details right now.
Go for an early legal consultation. Most lawyers offer a free initial consultation or no-cost telephone advice.
This is to help injury victims and their families. It also helps you in preventing complications that may cost a lot more money later.
Consult Your Insurance Company
Your insurance provider needs to know the details about the accident as well. This part does not have to be on the scene but you will need to contact them for this. This way, you can note the details as to whether you need them for the claims and the injuries.
Reporting promptly can help your case. In doing so, your insurance company can take action right away and establish the process needed.
Check with them as well on the benefits available to you as provided by your insurance policy. This may include coverage for car repair, rental cars, and medical bills. The details on your policy may have details on what it covers for vehicular accidents.
Once you contact them, remember to cooperate with them to gain the benefits from your insurance policy. They might need details such as your account of the accident. They may also inspect your car and speak with your doctors.
On the medical aspect, make sure to seek medical care right away if you had any injuries. Also, follow the doctor’s advice. Refusing to do so may end up hurting your claim.
While you’re at it, make sure to have documentation. This pertains to medical bills or lost hours at work. This way, you have substantial evidence to work with in case you decide to make a claim against the other driver.
Do You Have to Call the Police After an Accident? The Answer is Yes
So, do you have to call the police after an accident? Yes, you have to. It is the best course of action to document and settle the matter amicably and peacefully.
With police involvement as part of the emergency response, you can be sure that the accident goes into the official record. It helps both sides to see how they can get the resolution needed. It also fulfills certain requirements for the insurance policies.
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