Should You Call the Police Following Your Car Accident?

Should you call the police and ask them to file a report following your car accident? Absolutely! Here’s why.

Should You Call the Police Following Your Car Accident?

When you’re involved in a car accident, it can leave you frazzled and disoriented. Sometimes, it can be tough to remember what you’re supposed to do, how you’re supposed to proceed following the collision. One thing you should always consider is calling a car accident attorney, who can help advise you on the next steps.

Another authority you should call? The local police. We’d recommend always calling the police in the aftermath of an accident, even if it’s a fairly minor one. Ask the police to come file a report; in most cases, unless they are extraordinarily busy and you tell them the accident is minor, they will oblige.

This is important for a couple of reasons; most significantly, a police report will provide a baseline of facts, which can come in handy as you seek to process your insurance claim. It may also be helpful to you if your car accident attorney advises you to pursue the matter in court.

Calling the police is simple; just dial 911! If there are injuries at the accident scene, ask the dispatcher to send a full team of emergency responders. But for more minor accidents, where everyone seems like they’re okay, you can request that the dispatcher just send a police officer to file a report.

What the Police Will Do

The process is extremely straightforward, and usually takes just a few minutes. Here’s what the officer will do upon arriving at the scene:

  • Talk to each driver and any witnesses present, simply recording their version of what happened.
  • Documenting important details about the vehicles involved, any injuries sustained, environmental concerns, etc.
  • Gather names and contact information from each party.
  • Make a brief sketch of the accident scene, helping recreate the events that led to the collision.

Our Advice for Talking to the Police

According to our top accident attorney, these are the guidelines you should keep in mind when the police show up:

  • Just stick to the facts. It’s best not to get too emotional or to throw blame at the other driver. Try to remain as calm as you can, and simply articulate what happened.
  • Don’t lie, but also avoid apologizing or admitting fault. Even if you think you were the one who caused the accident, it’s best not to say so out loud. Allow the police to draw their own conclusions.
  • Don’t leave until you’ve been told you can do so by the police. Try to be as helpful to them as you can!
  • Ask the officer when you will receive a copy of the police report. Often, this will take seven to 10 days.
  • Once you’ve talked to the police, call your accident attorney and let them know what’s happened. Ask how to proceed with the insurance claim.

One more note: On the off chance that the police decline to show up on the scene, you can create a report of your own! Here’s what to do:

  • Take photos of the accident scene, including the damages to each vehicle.
  • Collect the names and contact information of each party involved.
  • Write down your recollections of what happened; you’ll be surprised how much of it you might forget, so don’t delay in making a record.

Learn More from an Accident Attorney

The police can be an asset to you in the wake of a car accident. In addition, always be sure to call a car accident attorney. To speak with a lawyer from AA Accident Attorneys, we welcome you to contact us any time! We’re here to help when you need us.

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