People often wonder if they should call the police after they have been involved in an accident- even if they don't think they have been hurt. If you are involved in an accident that was caused by the fault of another, you should always call the police to the accident site even if you feel it was only a minor collision and you don't think you have an injury. Many times, the person that caused your accident will insist that you not contact the police and may even offer to compensate you for the damage caused to your motor vehicle. You should never agree to this offer. Instead, you should contact the police and explain to them why the other party was at fault once they arrive at the accident scene.
There are several significant reasons why you should contact the police, which could include, but not be limited to the following:
Obtaining a police accident report to preserve evidence
When the police are called to the site of an accident, they will obtain specific information regarding the drivers, their insurance companies, witnesses to the accident, details of how the accident occurred, statements from you, the other driver, or any witnesses as to what happened, measurements or photographs of the accident site and the vehicles involved, the officer's conclusions as to the cause of the accident and any arrests or citations. This will help to preserve specific evidence that you may need to use later in the prosecution of your case;
Protecting yourself against delayed injuries or vehicle damage
Many times a person who is involved in a motor vehicle accident will not experience any noticeable injuries until hours or even days after the accident. You might also have some property damage to your vehicle that is not obvious until you bring it to an auto body shop to get an estimate. If you obtain a police accident report it will be much easier to pursue a claim for bodily injury or property damage because all of the needed information will be outlined in the police accident report; and
Avoiding disputes with the at-fault party's insurance company
If you do not obtain a police accident report, then the at-fault party's insurance company will be able to argue that their insured was not liable for your injuries and damages or that you are responsible in some way for causing the accident. The insurance adjuster might also claim that the injuries and damages that you are alleging could not have occurred in their accident but instead happened at a different place and time, and you are now trying to blame their insured for what happened to you in the accident.
Even personal injury lawyers call the police
Earlier this year, I was involved in a motor vehicle accident whereby a tractor-trailer cut into my lane while turning and damaged the side of my vehicle. The operator of the tractor-trailer jumped out and started yelling that he was attempting to turn and that I caused the accident. I politely explained that I was entirely within my lane of traffic and that he crossed over into my lane and caused the accident. I insisted that the police be called despite his reluctance to involve them. Once the police officer arrived, I immediately went over and showed the officer pictures of the vehicles right after the collision and showed him how the other driver was ultimately in my lane of traffic.
After I obtained the police accident report, I contacted the owner of the tractor-trailer's insurance company and explained that I was filing a claim. The adjuster indicated that his driver stated that it was my fault and that they had to investigate the accident. If I did not have a police accident report, which detailed all of the needed information and summarized why the other driver was at fault, then I would have been placed in a challenging position to try to obtain money for the damages that I incurred.
If you are involved in any type of accident, that has been caused by the fault of another, regardless of how much damage there is to the vehicles or if you do not feel that you have been injured, you should insist that the police be called and file a report regarding the accident. You will be in a much better position to obtain compensation for your injuries and damages if you have a police accident report.
A personal injury attorney can help you
If you have any problems or questions regarding your Connecticut accident case or if you would like to obtain a free book, which will advise you as to what you should and should not be doing, then check out the valuable resources we offer, free of charge. You can also call our office and speak with one of our experienced Connecticut injury lawyers who will be happy to answer your questions and advise you as to what you need to be doing.
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PS. If you have been injured, click here to download your free “Crash Course: On Personal Injury Claims” eBook:
- What to do first
- How a personal injury claim is put together
- What insurance adjusters don't want you to know
- What to do and what not to do
- How to better communicate with your health care providers
- How to support your loss of income claim
- What you need to do to help your attorney get you more money for your case