Do You Have to Call the Police After a Minor Car Accident?
In the case of a minor car accident, people might wonder why even bother with the police. There’s not that much damage, and they’ll settle this on their own. But what’s the right thing to do in these situations? Read on to find out if you need to call the police after a minor car accident and what the benefits of doing so are.
Do You Need to Involve the Police?
In some states, people have the obligation of calling the police even after minor accidents. And even if there is no such law, the best thing to do is still to involve the authorities. After all, their job is to help in these situations.
Obviously, if someone gets hurt or dies in the accident, you must call the authorities to the scene. This rule also applies if any animal sustains injuries.
What’s more, if you think that the damages in the accident will exceed $1,000, the police should be called. Now, you might be saying that if the damage is that big, it isn’t a minor accident. But with today’s costs of repairing a newer-model vehicle, even a minor collision can cause that big of a dent in someone’s wallet.
What Are the Benefits of Calling the Police
It Gives You Security
Imagine that you happen to be in a minor accident and decide not to call the authorities. The other driver would rather you worked things out on your own, so you exchange insurance information and leave it to them to deal with the compensation.
Not involving the authorities can be risky in these situations. The crucial thing is that you most likely won’t know the other person. They may only cooperate because they want to get out of the situation without paying anything. Keep this in mind, especially if the other driver caused the accident. They may give you false information, and because you didn’t call the police, you won’t have any proof that the damages to your car were sustained in this crash.
It’s Hard Evidence You May Need for an Insurance Claim
The insurance company may need hard evidence to back up your claim to pay for the damages. When the authorities come to the scene of the accident, they write a report that you can later present to the insurance adjuster (if needed). That way, you will get the money for any of your injuries or damages to your car.
They Will Resolve Any Disputes
The drivers involved in a minor car accident may not agree on who caused it. Tempers can run high. People could be driving under the influence. Or, they may give valid arguments but also make up some, just to get out of paying for the damages.
In these situations, the best thing to do is call the police. They will come to the scene, talk to parties involved and any witnesses, figure out what happened, and most importantly, determine who caused the collision.
The official report is especially crucial if the accident was not your fault, but the driver at fault decides to file an insurance claim against you. The insurance companies can then determine if the claim is valid or not with that official statement and prevent the other driver from taking your money.
It Will Serve As Evidence for Any Personal Injury Claim
Injuries to the drivers may occur even in minor accidents, and what’s more, those injuries may not present immediately. That is why you should call the police, even if it appears that everyone is fine.
In the case that you get injured, you can use the official report as hard evidence for your lawsuit (because not all car accident cases settle). You can use it as proof of your pain and suffering caused by the car accident.
On the other hand, if the other driver is hurt, they might want to sue you, and the police report can protect you here. The officers at the scene will write in the report the actual severity of the injury so that the other driver won’t be able to unrightfully sue you for more money.
Finally, keep in mind that some injuries don’t appear immediately after the accident. If you want to file a personal injury claim sometime after the incident, you will still need the official police report. Also, you will be needing a really good car accident lawyer in Des Moines IA.