If another driver hit your vehicle but there was limited damage and no apparent injures, you may be tempted not to call the police. You may think it would be sufficient to exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver, hoping he’ll be cooperative when you need to get paid for your minor damages. However this is almost always a mistake. It’s important to contact the police and obtain a copy of the police report.
Reasons You Should Contact the Police Following Any Car Crash
Right after an accident, the police can provide help on many different fronts. They can call for medical care for any injured victims, as well as investigate the crash and document the cause of it. Even if you don’t believe you’ll need to make an insurance claim, you want to contact the police for the following reasons:
- Hidden injuries. Symptoms of some injuries, including traumatic brain injury, back and spinal injuries and mild internal bleeding, can take days or longer to develop. Once you start experiencing them, you could discover that your injuries are much more severe than you initially thought. Some of these injuries can be caused by a “minor” accident. You want to strengthen your potential claim for compensation by contacting the police immediately after the crash.
- Incorrect insurance information. The negligent driver could provide you with incorrect or expired insurance information. Although he might give this information to the police, too, the officer will be able to provide you with accurate contact information for the driver and witnesses, investigate the crash and write a report. You will need this information if you have to file a claim.
- Changed story. As part of his investigation, the police officer will take the other driver’s statement, as well as your own. It will be harder for the negligent driver to change his story and claim that you were at fault if he gave a statement at the accident scene.
- Expensive property damage. Vehicle repairs are expensive, and yours may cost more than you think. Depending on how long it will take to complete the repairs, you may need to rent a car. If you later decide to file a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company or your own, it will be helpful to your claim to provide the adjuster with a police report.
If you or a family member suffered injuries in a car accident, you need to hire an experienced car accident attorney before accepting any settlement from the negligent driver’s insurance company. To be certain that you receive what you deserve, call the Parker Law Firm to schedule a Complimentary Strategy Session to get your questions answered and discuss your options for compensation.