Strictly speaking, it is not always necessary to call the police after a car accident. However, it can be difficult to tell when the circumstances warrant it, in part because the regulations can vary by state. It is better to call when you don’t have to than to fail to call when you do, and calling can have benefits.
1. A Police Report Is an Official Record
Following an accident, you may have to file an insurance claim or a lawsuit. If so, it can be helpful to have an objective record of what happened in the accident from an official source. The police report will describe what happened from a disinterested, third-party perspective. This can serve as valuable evidence if you go to court because your Philadelphia car accident lawyer will need it.
2. There May Be Injuries
If you or someone else in the crash suffers serious injuries, the law requires that you stay at the scene and get help. Calling 911 is the fastest way to summon emergency services, including the police. Even if the accident seems minor, symptoms of serious injuries can be delayed. If it turns out you have a serious injury, you need all the evidence you can find to support your case. Both the police report and the medical records can come in handy.
3. It May Be Required by Law
State laws require you to call the police if the accident occurred under certain circumstances. For example, in Rhode Island, you have to call the police if you hit a domestic animal, such as a dog or cat. Some states require you to call the police if the damage exceeds a certain dollar amount. Because it is difficult to determine how much the damage is worth just by looking at it, the safest course is to call the police no matter what. You may also call a Philadelphia car accident lawyer for help.
4. Your Insurance Company May Require It
If you have personal injury protection as part of your insurance policy, it may require you to submit a police report before it will cover the damages. If you failed to call the police and get the report, the claim may be denied and you may end up paying for the damages yourself.
Calling the police is one of the first steps you should take after a car accident. Contact our Philadelphia car accident lawyer. At Wieand Law Firm LLC we offer consultation for help with some of the remaining steps such as dealing with insurance companies.