If I have a car accident, should I call the police?

call the police after a car crashIf you’re involved in a vehicle accident, calling the police is generally a good idea. Here are seven reasons why you should make that call:

  1. The police officer will document the presence of the other driver by recording information about his tag, insurance, and identity. This prevents the other driver from later denying his involvement in the accident.
  2. The police officer will interview the other driver when he fills out a police report. This gives you the opportunity to obtain a statement from the other driver admitting fault for the accident.
  3. A police report isn’t admissible as evidence during a civil trial, but it has a big influence on the other driver’s insurance adjuster. If his insured driver admitted fault to the police, the other driver’s insurance company will probably accept financial responsibility.
  4. The severity of an injury resulting from a vehicle accident may not be obvious immediately. Many injuries get progressively worse in the hours and days following a crash.
  5. Officers are trained to identify drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The officer’s evaluation of the driver’s state is helpful to your case, since violations of the law are proof of negligence. Criminal charges filed against the other driver will further prove his responsibility.
  6. Since vehicle accidents happen so quickly, no one person can notice every detail and explain all of the causes of the collision. When police are called to the scene, they record contact information for—and statements from—any witnesses to the crash. Access to these eyewitness accounts may be extremely beneficial to you in the future.
  7. If an accident results in very serious injuries or death, the police may assess the scene for evidence. These investigators are experts, and their expert opinion regarding the cause of the accident may be considered in court. This is particularly helpful if the other driver's memory is fuzzy, or if he is outright lying and denying fault.

If you’re the victim of a vehicle collision, you need police on the scene to document what happened, and why. For more information on protecting your rights, contact the Law Office of Ben Crittenden, P.C., by using the form on this page.