There’s one question we hear a lot from people – “Do I really need to call the police if someone hits me? I mean, what if I’m not that injured or there’s not much damage to my car?”
We know what’s motivating the question.
The vision of calling the police –sitting in the middle of traffic (or on the side of the road) waiting for them to show up; people are staring at you from their cars and you’re probably late for something.
Nobody wants to put up with that.
And really, what’s the big deal? If you feel like you do not need to be transported to the emergency room and your car is drivable, does it matter?
Yes, yes it does matter. A lot.
When you get into an accident, your blood is pumping and adrenaline is rushing through your body. Your natural defense mechanisms are actually protecting you from feeling any injuries.
But over time, as this wears off, the real impact of your injury can be felt.
Your shoulder aches. Your neck hurts. Your hand is stiff.
It’s more than just a little injury. You start cutting back work hours because it hurts. You’re seeing a doctor because it hurts. You’re spending money on pain relief because it hurts.
Also, what appeared at the time to be a relatively minor dent may be much more serious after a body shop figures out what has to be repaired on your vehicle.
Without a police report, usually the only account of the crash and how it happened is your version of the story and the other guy’s.
The Purpose of the Police Report
The police report exists to provide an independent assessment and record of the accident. Who is at fault for the accident is often determined in the police report as well (especially when someone is given a traffic ticket).
Having a police report can become vital in a case where it may not be so clear-cut who is at fault for the accident. Without it, it becomes your word against theirs.
What to Do If You Have An Accident
As soon as you’ve made sure you’re OK, contact the police right away.
While you’re waiting for the police to arrive, it’s important for you to gather information yourself.
Take pictures of their car, your car, and the accident scene. Taking a video on your phone of the whole accident scene is even better.
Collect the contact information of anyone around who may have been a witness to the scene.
Definitely get the insurance information of the person with whom you’ve been in the accident with.
After the police arrive on the scene and have completed their report, be absolutely sure to get a copy of the accident exchange information form. A copy of the record itself is important too, but that generally takes a couple of weeks before it is available. Also, make note of any tickets the police issue.
How Silkman Law Can Help Your Personal Injury Case
After you’ve done all the right things at the scene of your accident, you may still need to involve a personal injury attorney like the Silkman Law Firm.
We offer free case reviews for your accident so that you can have a professional look at your case and let you know whether it’s worth pursuing – never make that decision on your own – you might miss out on important compensation to pay for current or future medical expenses.