Do You Have to Call the Police After a Minor Car Accident?

Sunday, March 1st 2020, 2:40 am
By: News On 6

Car Accident

There were 6,734,000 auto accidents in the United States in 2018. These ranged from minor fender benders to serious multi-car crashes. With this broad of a range in property damage and physical injuries, it can be tough to know what the proper course of action is in each situation.

Do you have to call the police after a minor car accident? Use this guide to help you determine if you need to call the authorities when involved in an accident.

Do You Have to Call the Police After a Minor Car Accident?

The answer is it depends. Whether or not you have to call the police will depend on the state you live in, who owns the car, and the amount of damage or injuries experienced.

Legally Required

Some states require that every accident gets reported to law enforcement. This includes accidents that only involve property damage.

Other states require that only accidents that have damage over a certain value get reported. This is typically $1,000 or $2,500.

If you aren’t sure of the damages or injuries at the scene, that’s ok. It’s best to have a police officer make a report anyway.

Sometimes you can file a police report after the fact. You can contact a car accident lawyer, and they can help you determine the best course of action to recover your damages.

Contractually Required

If you’re driving a company vehicle, then you may be contractually required to call the police. This is because the business you’re operating on behalf of is legally liable for the damages and injuries you cause while driving their vehicle their behalf.

You can look at your employment contract and company policies to determine if you’re contractually required to call the police.

Hostile Driver

If the accident isn’t required to be reported, but the other driver is uncooperative or doesn’t have insurance, then it’s a good idea to involve law enforcement. They can help you obtain the necessary information to be able to recover for your damages and injuries.

Insurance Companies

While an insurance company can’t require you to file a police report to make a claim, it will make the process easier. A police report gives the insurance company an official record of the events. This will help them to assess the damages and process the claim quicker.

With the police report, the insurance company will have to do its own investigation to determine who is at fault.

Keep in mind that insurance companies do require you to report any accidents that you’re involved in. This is different from filing a police report. You need to let the insurance company know of any accidents so that they’re on notice, in case someone comes back months or years later with an unnoticed damage claim.

Play It Safe and Call the Police

Do you have to call the police after a minor car accident? Not always. It’s smart to notify them no matter what, though.

This will ensure that there’s an official record of the incident. It also helps you get all of the necessary information to seek recovery for your loss.

Check out our news section for the latest updates on accidents in the area.

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