Should I Contact The Police After a Car Accident?
In most cases, yes. You must contact the police immediately after getting into a car accident. In Texas, you are legally obligated to contact the police right away and report an accident involving an injury, death, or significant damage to the vehicle.
Essentially, you must report the accident to the police if any of the following is true:
- Someone got injured or was killed in the car accident
- The vehicles involved can’t be moved
- There’s severe damage to the vehicle
- The other driver flees the accident scene (hit-and-run accident)
- The other driver does not have auto insurance
- The other driver seems intoxicated
The Police Report Will Be Very Helpful to Your Claim
Aside from the legal requirement of reporting certain car accidents, another crucial reason to contact the police after a crash is so the responding officer can create a police report. This report will play a vital role when pursuing an insurance or personal claim against the at-fault driver. Under the law, the police must file an official accident report for accidents resulting in injury, death, or vehicle damage worth more than $1,000.
Sometimes, accident victims don’t automatically know they’re injured or how much damage their vehicle sustained. You can suffer injuries with invisible or delayed symptoms, and vehicles can have hidden damage. To protect your legal right to compensation, you should report a car accident, even if you think it’s minor.
In addition, the police can also get immediate medical assistance (if applicable) and ensure your safety. For example, you have to exchange certain information and speak to the other driver involved, and while you don’t need the police for that, if the other driver is uncooperative, aggressive, or acting suspicious, the police can handle the situation.
What Else Should I Do After a Car Accident?
If anyone is seriously injured, your top priority is to call 911 and wait for help to arrive. If no one is injured, move your car to a safe spot and gather the following information:
- Talk to the other driver and ask for their name, contact details, policy number, and insurance company provider. Give your information to the other driver as well.
- Snap photos and videos of the vehicles involved, including the damage to them and their license plates, the general accident area, road angles, road conditions, weather conditions, and street signs.
- Speak to people who witnessed the accident and get their contact details.
- Even if you feel fine, see your doctor as soon as possible for a checkup. In some cases, injuries may not exhibit symptoms until several days or weeks following a car accident. What you believe to be common aches and pains can actually be a serious injury.
Discuss Your Case With a Skilled Plano, TX, Car Accident Attorney
Insurance companies will prioritize their best interests, not yours. So you should work with a Plano, TX, car accident attorney who can hold the negligent driver liable for the accident-related costs you incurred. Dial 972-380-4444 or reach The Law Office of Joel Vecchio, P.C., online to schedule your free consultation with our Plano, TX, car accident attorney.