When you get in a car accident, it’s easy for everything to become a blur. If we’re not injured, our first thought is probably, who should I call?
The first thing you should always do is call the police. It’s vital to get a police report at the scene of the accident.
Let’s take a look at a few reasons why it’s so important to get a police report first.
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It’s a Misdemeanor to Drive Away
If you get in a minor fender bender, you and the other driver might be happy to laugh it off and walk away. But the law says something different. If you leave the scene of an accident and someone sustained an injury, you’ve broken the law.
But what if it seems like no one is injured? Injuries sustained in an auto accident don’t always come on right away. An injury like whiplash or even a head injury may not produce any noticeable symptoms until later.
If you leave without a police report, you’re setting yourself up for a misdemeanor charge and possibly a lawsuit from the injured party.
Always remember – however minor the accident, the ones to talk to first are the police.
The Police Report Gathers Information
When you get in a car wreck, tempers often get frayed. It’s not unusual for the people involved to struggle to communicate and forget to exchange crucial information.
Calling the police helps to diffuse the situation. They take control of the situation, make sure everyone is safe, and collect the necessary information into a single report.
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The police report helps you by providing a legal document that describes the accident. It does this from an outsider’s perspective.
They record exactly what happened and take statements from both parties. This record can then be used in court or by insurance companies as needed.
The police report will also collect everybody’s contact information. This includes drivers, passengers, and other witnesses.
The Police Report Protects You
If you sustain an injury, if your vehicle is damaged, never shake hands and walk away.
There is too much at stake in case you need to follow the matter up legally in the future. The other party may deny any involvement, or completely contradict your version of events.
It’s good to get your insurance company involved as well if there is any damage or any injuries. Damage can seem minor to an inexperienced person, but may actually be worse than it seems. The police report helps the insurance company to pursue any claims against the other party.
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Power to Gather Surveillance Footage
The police report will also gather surveillance footage or video related to the accident. They have the authority to do this. If you go it alone, it may be very difficult to collect this yourself.
The insurance company can potentially use the footage for proving fault if needed.
Always Get a Police Report!
Sure, it may seem like a hassle at the time. But there are many good reasons why you should always report an accident and get a police report. Doing so will protect you from any nasty surprises in the future.
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