Car accidents are one of the most common types of personal injury cases. Heavy traffic, driving while distracted and reckless driving are just a few things that increase the likelihood of accidents. The steps you take after a accident can affect your ability to collect money for your injuries if they are severe. The following is an overview of what you should do after an accident and when you should call the police for assistance.
Do I Call The Police After An Accident?
When you are involved in an accident, many things go through your mind. However, it is important to take the proper steps to ensure you protect your interests. The first thing you should do, is call law enforcement. It is important to call police after any accident, no matter how minor the damage may seem. Some things a police officer will do when he arrives at the accident scene include:
- Access The Scene
- Call For Medical Assistance
- Protect The Evidence At The Scene Of The Accident
- Gather Evidence
- Investigate The Cause Of The Accident
- Document The Cause Of The Crash
If you are injured, it is even more important that a police officer arrive on the scene. In this case, the officer will investigate who is at fault and issue citations for all traffic violations. He will fill out a police report that will reflect his findings. It is important to get his badge number and the number of the police report for later reference.
What If My Injuries Are Minor?
You should call the police after any accident, even if you feel like you aren’t seriously injured or the damage to your vehicle doesn’t seem that bad. A police officer can access the damage and make a report in case your injuries are more severe than you think. This is vital information in the event you must file a personal injury lawsuit because you sustained injuries in the crash or have unpaid medical bills.
What If The Police Won’t Respond To An Accident
Some larger cities will not send officers to an accident if they feel the damage is minor and no one is seriously hurt. They may give you instructions on how to proceed or they may leave you on your own to figure it out. If this happens to you, it is important to:
- Get The Other Driver’s Name, Address And Phone Number
- Ask For A Copy Of Their Insurance Card
- Obtain The Driver License Number Of The Other Driver
- Get The License Plate Number Of The Other Vehicle
- Ask For A Copy Of The Registration
What Not To Do
After an accident, you may be emotional and upset. However, you must be careful to avoid admitting fault when speaking to witnesses or the other driver involved. This is important, even if you are worried you may be at fault. Any admissions you give right after your accident can be used to your disadvantage if you go to court. It is also important to remain at the accident site until the police arrive. Failure to do so could result in criminal charges for leaving the scene of an accident.
Always call the police after an accident to avoid potential problems at a later time. This will allow you to obtain a police report you can use to prove your case. If you have been injured during an auto crash, you may find it helpful to seek the advice of an attorney. An experienced accident lawyer can provide you with a consultation, where he will go over the facts of your case and determine the best way to move forward. Having an attorney to look out for your interests will also give you peace of mind that will enable you to concentrate on your recovery.