If you ever find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being involved in a car accident with injuries, you may wonder whether you should call the police.
The answer is a resounding yes for a variety of reasons, from legal obligations to using the police report for your car accident suit with your personal injury attorney. First and foremost, you should call the police if there’s an accident with injuries because it’s the law.
Aside from you being legally required to call police, an experienced traffic cop can be extremely helpful in these stressful situations. They can:
- Coordinate emergency medical care and lead first responders to injured people
- Protect the accident scene from losing key evidence or other important things
- Investigate and potentially determine what caused the accident to happen
- Compile a police report that lawyers and insurance companies will use to determine who was at-fault and who is responsible for paying the damages
You’ll want to get the officer’s name and badge number at the scene so you can locate the police report once it’s filed and available to pick up. If the officer has a police report number to give you at the scene, that would be helpful as well. If you were in an accident with no injuries or very little damage to vehicles, should you still call the police?
The answer is probably.
In some cases, though, just because you call the police doesn’t mean they’ll respond. If it’s a minor fender-bender, they may tell you to simply exchange insurance information with the other parties involved.
So what information do you exchange if the police don’t come?
You’ll need the following information from the other driver(s):
- Telephone numbers
- Name of car insurance company
- Policy number
- Name, address and telephone number of insurance representative that you should contact about this accident, and
- License plate number (and state in which the car is registered)
It’s not enough to simply ask for the above information. You’ll want to ask for documentation (insurance cards, car registration papers, etc) and take photos of the documents with your cell phone if you can.
This makes it harder, if not impossible, for the other driver to give you false info.
If the driver says they do not have an insurance card or other documentation, call their insurance company from the scene to verify. You don’t want to end up on the hook for damages that weren’t your fault because you didn’t get all the information you needed at the scene.
It’s also helpful to get names and contact information of witnesses on the scene to verify your account of what happened in the accident — especially if the police don’t come to the scene.After you call the police and the dust has settled a little, the next call should be to a trusted personal injury attorney who can fight insurance companies on your behalf. Contact Wright Gray personal injury attorneys today for a consultation.