The majority of people have never been involved in an accident before. So if you find yourself in a car accident, you might wonder about the necessary protocol to follow in the immediate aftermath. For example, do you need to call the police to the site?
The answer to this question depends on the circumstances of the accident. You are required by law to call the police when the following situations apply:
- When someone is injured: If someone has been injured in the accident, you should call 911 immediately for medical assistance. In such a scenario, the dispatcher who sends out emergency responders will also notify the police, and an officer will come to the scene to talk to the parties and generate a police report.
- When there is a certain amount of damage: Generally the rule is if there is going to be more than $1,000 in damage, you should call the police. Keep in mind that $1,000 in damage is likely nowhere near as much damage as you think it is.
Beyond these circumstances, there are several other cases in which it might make sense for you to call an officer out to the scene, even if you don’t think it absolutely necessary to do so under the law:
- You believe the other person committed a violation: If the other driver committed a motor vehicle violation, you should call an officer to the scene, regardless of that other driver’s wishes. They’ll likely argue you shouldn’t call because no one is hurt, but this is a matter of getting the facts and protecting yourself in an insurance claim.
- You aren’t certain about the need: It’s always better to be safe than sorry in accident cases. Even if it’s just a minor fender bender, you should still make the call. The police might decline to come if it’s a very minor case, but calling cannot hurt matters.
For more information about what steps to take if you’re involved in an accident, contact an experienced Bradenton, FL personal injury lawyer at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh.