If you are wondering if you should call the police after a serious car accident, the answer is yes. In many states, it’s actually the law to do so. There are many reasons why calling the police is the right choice, which we have gone into further detail about below. As a car accident lawyer explains, a police officer will help by protecting the area, investigating, writing a report, assisting injured parties, and coordinating with traffic so a secondary crash doesn’t unfold.
Protecting the Scene
For severe collisions, police will block off a section of the crash, or some of it, to ensure the area is free while they perform their investigation and personnel attend to the injuries of those involved. Having police create a boundary around the area can prevent another collision from happening. The minutes afterward are going to be important in gathering information, talking to police about your side, and contributing factors of the accident.
Investigating and Reporting
Police are going to ask you about the accident and what you saw through your perspective. They will use this information to create their report. It helps for your car accident insurance claim and potential lawsuit to have a copy of this report. You can request a copy of it at the police station for the city where the accident happened. If you suspect the driver was under the influence, tell the police right away. They can talk with the driver and perform a roadside test to confirm your concerns.
Having a report for the accident will be key if you plan on taking the driver to court. The police will include their assessment for the cause of the collision and the degree of damage done. If you can remember to, it helps to write down the officer’s name and badge number and the agency they are from before leaving the scene. If an officer does not come out, be sure that you exchanged all the details you need with the other driver. Get their first and last name, address, phone number, email, insurance company name and policy number, license plate number, vehicle description, and driver’s license number.
Receiving Medical Attention
Medical attention will need to be the first priority at an accident scene. Call 911 even if you don’t initially think you or anyone else is injured. Police are likely to be the first ones who arrive, and can provide basic medical care for those with injuries. Police can also clear the area so the ambulance has a place to park and assist EMTs with moving injured people out of the way of traffic and into the ambulance.
You may further help than what a police officer will handle at the scene of the accident. For instance, you may need to reach out to a law firm, such as Norris Injury Law, to sue the driver for your injuries, damages, and loss. Your lawyer can also help negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company and ensure your best interests are protected. When in doubt, calling the police after a car accident is always advised.