After a car crash is it compulsory to report to the police? The answer is simple, yes. No matter if the collision is small, it is good to report the accident to the police. It will save you from hassle in upcoming case matters. Police reports are a document that is very valuable when you negotiate with the insurance company for settlements, building a strong case of a car accident, or doing an investigation.
What does Law say About Car Accidents?
Filing a car accident in some cases is not just a best practice but also a law. In most states, you must have to report the motor vehicle collision that death, injury, or setting up some person to the law enforcement. Moreover, it is required to file an accident report when property damage occurs.
However, irrespective of whether the accident comes under these conditions, it is essential to file a police report to pursue legal action and get a fair amount of money for your damages. Usually, in trials, police reports cannot be used as admissible evidence.
A police report can be used to find the liability during insurance negotiations and help serve as the starting point of the accident investigation.
When A Car Accident Should be Reported To Police?
After any car wreck, the first step to take is to call 911. In case of serious car crashes, like when someone is dead, injured, property gets damaged, another driver is intoxicated, traffic is on the road, or there are fragments on the road then law enforcement or any emergency medical service is dispatched to the accident area. The police write up the car crash report.
In case of minor crashes like a fender bender, law enforcement may not respond to the accident spot. So you have to report the crash as early as possible if no police file the report.
What Details A Police Accident Report Covers?
In the police accident report, the following information is likely to be reported:
- Accident date and time
- Accident scene diagram
- Accident location description
- Statements, personal information, and insurance details of the parties involved in the accident.
- Witness statements and their contact information
- Weather and visibility conditions such as snow, fog, darkness, rain, etc.
Make sure to note the name and badge number of the officer so you can contact them if needed to follow up.
Tips About Reporting Accident to Police
Follow the below guidelines either you report a car accident at the scene or after the fact:
- Do not panic or lose temper
- Do not apologize for the crash, accept blame, or admit fault
- Do not approximate details or exaggerate details
- Do not make statements about how the seriousness of the injuries
When you speak to law enforcement keep these tips in your mind.
Got Questions? Contact a Lawyer
If you get into a similar situation then file the collision report by going to the nearest police station. You can contact an experienced car accident attorney in San Jose to help you in getting legal help.