Is it always necessary to call the police immediately preceding a car accident? Well the answer is, it depends. It depends on the severity of the accident in terms of damage to the vehicles (or possible physical surroundings, such as a pole, etc.), and any injuries to those who were involved in the accident. The matter of the fact is, car accidents are scary. Even a fender bender or even just a ‘close-call’ can leave you pretty rattled. It’s important to try and address the situation calmly and rationally, which can be very difficult, especially in states of shock or when your body is surging with high adrenaline levels. It is important to try and calmly assess the situation in order to gage the next steps and in whether or not it is necessary to call the police. If there is just a minor dent and/or scratches, and no serious injuries, then it is not necessary to contact the police immediately, although, regardless, you will still have to file a police report (through a non-emergency line) at a point in time in order to file your insurance claims.
So, when should you call the police?
- If anyone is injured
- If the damage appears to be $1000 worth of damage or more
- If a driver involved is without insurance
- If a driver attempts to flee the scene
- If a driver appears to be intoxicated
In the case that the police is not called in one of the previously addressed situations, an accident report must be filed with the Texas Department of Transportation within 10 days preceding the accident.
If you do need to call the police
Call the police and let them know where the accident occurred; there is no initial need to explain what happened, as they will ask you when they arrive on the scene and file a police report. You will need to obtain a copy of the police report as well; your insurance company will likely ask for it later. Make sure to be honest with the police, there can be serious consequences for finding someone to have been untruthful further down the line. Stick to the facts, what you know and how it happened.
In order to determine said instances and whether or not you should call the police, you should adhere to the following steps:
1) Assess the situation
Check your surroundings, stop your car, and put on your hazard lights. Check yourself and any passengers for any possible injuries. Sometimes the aftershock of a wreck can leave you numb, as your body is rushing with adrenaline. It’s important to make sure you’re able to move and not potentially fatally injured in any way before going forward in the situation. If you or anyone in your vehicle is hurt, you should immediately contact emergency services. Even though you might not be in immediate pain, take things slow, because you could still be injured whether you feel it yet or not.
If you’re able to, check on anyone else who was involved in the accident as well. Seek medical attention for anyone who may need it. If a person is unconscious or complaining of neck or back pain, do not move them, but immediately call for an ambulance (unless it is of more hazard for said person to stay where they are).
2) Determine the damage & take pictures
As mentioned above, determine the extent of the damage to the vehicles, if it is estimated to be over $1000, then you should call the police. Try to take pictures of the accident as soon as possible, of your surroundings and of your vehicles and any damage done to the vehicles. If you notice immediately that the other driver is responsible and is trying to not take fault, the pictures will be extremely helpful. In any case, if there are problems you are facing by the other driver, you made to contact a car accident attorney in Dallas.
If the vehicles are able to be moved, then you should move them off to the side of the road as soon as possible; Move the cars somewhere away from the danger of traffic, but where traffic can still make its way passed the accident.
3) Talk to witnesses
Many times, on-lookers will stop to try and help. Get their names, phone numbers, email addresses, etc., you may need their story later as part of the insurance claims involved.
4) Let your insurance company know what happened
Call your insurance company and follow the necessary steps to file an accident report of what happened. Be honest with them and tell them the story of what happened exactly, and to your best ability (you can face serious charges if you are caught lying to them). It’s best to do this as soon as possible after an accident, as the more time that goes by, even a day, you will start to remember what happened a little bit differently, or things might become a little bit cloudy as the shock wears off, etc.
Unfortunately, on many occasions, people will either be dishonest about their responsibility of an accident, or truly unsure of what happened, as they may be suffering from the aftershock as well. The best thing to do if expensive damages occurred or if you or anyone was injured in an accident, is to consult an expert. Not only can a car accident lead to physical pain, but it can be a huge interruption in your life. If you are injured or without a car because of damages, you may not be able to work, you may have to use transportation services, pay for medical bills, etc. If this is the case, you deserve compensation. If you are in the area, and looking for a car crash attorney in Dallas, please contact us today. Here at, Rad Law Firm, we want to help you get your life back in order after an accident.