No one likes the thought of being involved in a car accident, but it can happen to anyone. That is why you should already know what the best thing to do following the accident is. If you are ever in a collision, you should already be prepared, especially since it is easy to panic. One matter that confuses many people is whether or not the police should be called. Some pieces of advice say that you should always call the police. Is this really the case? If so, what is the point? This guide will answer all your questions about whether you should call the police after an accident.
Emergencies Vs. Non-Emergencies
First of all, you should understand what is meant by “calling the police.” If you have an emergency, you should call 911. If you do not have an emergency, there is a non-emergency police number you can call. The number varies from one area to the next, so you will have to look it up for your area.
There are some reasons why you should call 911 following an accident. If any of these situations apply to you, you should not hesitate to call the emergency number:
- You are injured or think you might be injured
- Someone else is injured or might be injured
- One or more vehicles are blocking traffic and it is unsafe to move them
- The other driver becomes uncooperative, very angry or violent
Remember, it is a crime to leave the scene of an accident without providing contact information. This is considered a hit-and-run, and you should call the police if this happens.
If none of these situations apply, you should still call the non-emergency police number at some point shortly after the accident. This is less important than ensuring everyone’s safety, getting the insurance and contact information from other drivers, speaking with potential witnesses, and taking pictures of the accident.
Why Call The Police?
Calling the police is to help you legally. Depending on how busy the police are at the time you call, an officer may or may not arrive at the scene of the accident. If one does, an accident report will be filed. An official accident report created by the police is a great resource to have in case the accident spawns a lawsuit. Likewise, the accident report may play a role in ensuring your insurance provider is able to compensate you for the accident. If it does look like things are moving toward a lawsuit, contact an attorney, like a car accident lawyer in Menomonee Falls, WI, right away.
Thank you to the experts at Hickey & Turim SC for their insight into calling the police after a car accident.