May 1, 2023 |
The Barnes Firm
Accidents can happen to anyone, anytime, and anywhere. When you find yourself in an accident, it is crucial to call the police and report it, regardless of the severity. If you do not call the police after an accident in situations where there has been an injury or death, you may face fines, a license suspension, or even jail time. It is always best to report the accident and let the police make the determination as to whether a police report is needed.
Additionally, the police report is proof that the accident happened, and it will help identify who is involved. The police report will also list witness information and other pertinent information that you may later need when you file a personal injury claim.
The Importance of Reporting a Car Accident
- Calling the police immediately after an accident ensures that there is a professional on the scene to facilitate the exchange of information and make an official report.
- Even if there are no visible injuries or damages, it is essential to report the accident, as some issues may surface later on.
When and How to Report a Car Accident
- In California, drivers involved in car accidents resulting in any injury or death are required by law to contact the police or highway patrol and make a written report within 24 hours of the incident.
- Accidents involving injury, death, or property damage exceeding $1,000 must also be reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days.
- Your timeframe for reporting the accident to your insurance company depends on your specific contract, but it is generally a good idea to report it as soon as possible.
The Benefits of Filing a Police Report
- A police report serves as proof that the accident occurred and can be beneficial to all parties involved.
- The report includes official witness statements, both parties’ insurance information, a record of all visible damage, and details regarding how the accident occurred.
- Insurance companies prefer working with police reports, as they help to eliminate hearsay during the investigative process and can be used in court if necessary.
Understanding the Laws About Filing Police Reports
- It’s always in your best interest to file a police report after an accident, even a minor one like a fender bender.
- In many cases, you are not required to call the police to the accident scene to file a report, and can do so over the phone or at the police station within 10 days.
- Calling the police to the accident scene has benefits such as traffic control, damage assessment, and medical assistance.
The Importance of Legal Representation After an Accident
- Never admit fault until you have consulted with a trusted attorney regarding your case.
- An experienced car accident attorney can help you win the compensation you deserve and navigate the complex legal process.
Call on The Barnes Firm After Your Car Accident
Car accidents can be stressful and overwhelming, but it is crucial to report them to the police and follow the appropriate procedures. Filing a police report and seeking legal representation can help protect your rights and ensure that you receive fair compensation for any injuries or damages sustained in the accident. Always prioritize safety and follow the law when involved in a car accident to avoid any legal complications.
Call today for your FREE case evaluation with one of our California car accident lawyers at The Barnes Firm: (800) 800-0000.