Do you have to contact the police after every car accident? What if it was just a little fender bender and you could quickly be on your way without involving the police? While it may seem like a good idea at the time, realize it’s smart to have police presence at the scene of every accident.
Obtaining a Police Report
In most cases, in order for the insurance claims process to run smoothly, you’ll need a police report about the incident. Of course there’s the claims adjuster who will assess the situation, and there could be witnesses as well, but an official report tends to hold up well against differing statements. Should you end up going to court with a lawsuit, the police report could offer proof you weren’t at fault.
Perhaps you feel the accident was obviously the other driver’s fault, and he or she even admitted it at the scene. Even so, stories change, and drivers will sometimes say untruths to keep their premiums at a minimum. They could also be coaxed by their insurance company so the claim is lower and liability remains low as well. The police report can show otherwise.
Another situation could be that the other driver offers you money to stay quiet. Perhaps he or she already has a criminal record or higher premiums because of previous traffic infractions. Call the police anyway so you can obtain the report you need.
Keeping the Peace
Not every driver and passenger will be cool and calm after a car accident. If it begins to get out of control, a police officer can encourage peace. Drivers who get aggressive can be handled properly, and injured individuals can be comforted and taken care of.
Fulfilling a Legal Responsibility
Many states have laws regarding contacting the police and filing a report following a car accident. You’ll need to fulfill that legal responsibility so you don’t find yourself with a fine or jail time. If you are injured to the point you can’t contact authorities, you should have someone do it for you.
Getting in Touch With Your Attorney
After you have taken care of your legal responsibilities and received the medical attention you need, contact a car accident lawyer in Tarzana, CA. Your injuries, the damage to your car, lost wages and other damages will need a good look by someone qualified to do so. With your lawyer’s help, you can move forward with the insurance claims process and possibly a lawsuit against the other driver.
Thanks to Barry P. Goldberg for their insight into car accident claims and contacting the police after an accident.