What Are My Responsibilities As A Driver In Indiana After A Car Accident
You may never leave the scene of an accident without stopping. After a collision, you should immediately pull over away from traffic and render assistance to anyone who may need it. If anyone is badly injured, be sure to call 911. Additionally, you should do the following:
- Exchange information with everyone involved in the accident, including names, contact information, drivers license numbers, license plates and insurance information.
- If the accident involved injuries, death, damage to property beyond the vehicles or damage totaling more than $1,000 to the vehicles, you must contact the police.
Most, if not all, insurance policies also require you to report any accident that involves another vehicle. The only time you can safely choose not to inform your insurance company of an accident is if it is a single-vehicle accident involving only minor damage such as if you back into a fence on your own property.
When you make your report, both to your insurance company and to the police, be careful of what you say. Never speculate about how or why the crash occurred. Instead, you should just state the facts. Do not admit fault or apologize for the crash in any way, even if you think you were partially responsible. Also, do not comment on the extent of your injuries. Leave the determination of your injuries to the medical professionals.
What Does The Law In California Say About Reporting Accidents
When we turn to California Vehicle Code section 20008, we can see that the driver of any vehicle involved in an accident is required to report the crash to the California Highway Patrol or the police department of the jurisdiction where the accident occurred within 24 hours if there were any injuries or death involved in the incident.
Should I Call The Police For A Small Or Minor Car Accident
Under certain circumstances, the law requires you to call the police from an accident scene and file a police report. In other cases, you may not have to notify the police but that doesnt mean you shouldnt. Notifying the police even in a minor car accident can expedite the process, identify who was at fault, and help you in the future should you need to file a personal injury lawsuit. If youre involved in a small car accident, know what to do and when to call the police.
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You Will Likely Need To Report The Accident To Your Insurance Company
Insurance companies typically require their policyholders to report all accidents regardless of severity and regardless of fault. If you fail to report an accident promptly, this could result in a denial of coverage.
Additionally, since New York is a no fault auto insurance state, you will need to report the accident to your insurer in order to seek coverage for your accident-related losses.
If I Get In A Car Accident Do I Have To Call The Police
Hopefully, you will never find yourself in a serious car accident but if you do, there are a few reasons why its important to notify your local police department. Not only are police reports helpful to plaintiffs in personal injury cases, but depending on the circumstances, failure to contact the police could actually get you into trouble with the law. In this article, Philadelphia car accident lawyer Brent Wieand will explain how police reports are used, when Pennsylvania and New Jerseys laws require police notification, and whether its necessary to call the police after a minor accident with no injuries.
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If You Are In A Fender
Should you still call the police even if your accident is just a minor one? The answer is usually yes. Even after a minor accident, a police officer can help you sort things out, and document what happened in case your situation changes in the future. For example, the other driver might seem friendly and cooperative at the scene and then deny all responsibility later. Or your accident injuries might not show up right away. Call the police department’s non-emergency line and ask a dispatcher for advice.
If the police decline to come to the scene of your minor accident, you can go to the nearest police station and file a report yourself after you exchange information with the other driver. If there are any witnesses, get their names and contact information as well. Make a note of the exact location of the accident and how it happened. If you can, take pictures of the vehicles and the scene from multiple vantage points. Learn more about what to do after a car accident.
Report Your Accident And Make A Claim
Before you contact us following an accident, make sure you’ve got all the important details ready:
- Your policy number
- Registration number of the cars involved
- Driver’s name, address and phone number of each car involved
- Each driver’s insurance details if you have them
Once the incident report has been taken by your Accident Assist claims advisor, they’ll take you through the next steps and the options to deal with your claim.
These will include the AA management of you claim from start to finish, arranging repairs to your vehicle and providing a replacement vehicle during the repairs. Or they’ll notify your insurer who will arrange the repairs and a courtesy car.
If you need to contact us, you can call:
- AA Car Insurance customer 0800 269 622
- AA breakdown Member 0800 048 2678
Alternatively, you can choose to contact your insurer directly. Their phone number will be on your insurance documents.
What if I don’t make a claim?You should still tell Accident Assist or your insurer about the accident. Why? Because the other driver may try to make a claim without you knowing.
There are reasons why you may choose not to claim:
- To keep your no claim discount intact, if you haven’t added ‘protected no claim discount’ on your policy.
- If you decide to pay for the repairs yourself.
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What Details Should I Provide
If anyone involved in the accident is injured, you must give your insurance details, including your name, address and the vehicles registration. You must show them your insurance certificate if they ask for it.
Even if no one is injured you could exchange insurance details as it might help to speed up the claims process.
Its worth getting their details, too, as you may have an injury that you werent aware of at the time of the crash.
If youre not the vehicles owner, you should give the car owners details.
Reporting To The Police
There are certain situations in which you are required to immediately report an accident to the police. When you do, the police will come directly to the scene. Here are five accident situations that you must report:
- Someone has been killed or injured in a car crash in Ontario
- There is damage to public or private property
- At least one of the drivers appears intoxicated
- The accident involves a cyclist or pedestrian
- At least one of the drivers is unlicensed or uninsured
There is one other situation in which you must report an accident to the police, and that isIif the total amount of damage estimated is more than $2,000. However, depending on the situation, the police may not come out to the scene.
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Things Not To Do Right After A Car Accident
For the average young professional, when the monotonous 5-day working weeks are interspersed by a long weekend, the perfect opportunity to embark on a long drive surfaces. In our country, summer is synonymous with long trips via road. Summer is also a time when traffic is at its peak and there is greater chance of occurrence of accidents, be it minor or major.
The thumb rule to stay safe on the roads is to drive in a defensive manner. However, there are certain incidents that cannot be avoided by even the most seasoned driver.
In case you are involved in such an accident where you are not completely at fault, then there are certain things you should bear in mind to avoid making a potentially costly mistake. Here, we elaborate on the same.
How Will Reporting A Car Accident Help Your Claim
When a police officer arrives at the scene of an accident, the officer will obtain information from the involved parties, including their drivers license, vehicle identification numbers and insurance information. Next, the officer will take statements from everyone involved in the accident about what occurred. The officer will also use a diagram to illustrate the intersection or area where the accident occurred and any visible damage to the vehicles.
The officer will also ask if you need medical treatment and will note your response in the police report. The officer may make additional commentary on the report in the form of a narrative, stating accident specifics. If the officer determines fault in the accident, the officer will likely issue a traffic citation to the at-fault party.
Each party involved in the accident will receive a report number. You can use this number to look up your report online after a certain period, or you can contact the law enforcement agency which prepared the report. However, if an officer finds that it is a non-reportable accident, the officer will likely issue an Exchange of Information Form to each driver. This form will contain fields for a drivers:
- Vehicle make, model, year and color
- Insurance company.
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Immediately After The Accident
- Stop the car as soon as possible it’s an offence not to do so.
- Turn off the engine.
- Switch the hazard lights on.
- Check for any injuries to yourself or your passengers.
- If it’s a minor collision and there are no injuries, make a note of it just in case the other people later try to claim for an injury.
- Try to remain as calm as possible its normal to be shaken after an accident, take a few deep breaths and try to take stock of the situation the best you can. And don’t lose your temper.
- Don’t apologise or admit responsibility for the accident until you’re completely aware of what happened this can protect you from liability if it wasn’t your fault.
When should I call the police?
- If the other driver or drivers leave the scene without giving details.
- If you think the other driver has no insurance or is under the influence of drink or drugs.
- If you suspect that the other driver caused the collision deliberately.
Tell the police about the accident within 24 hours if you don’t you may be given a fine, points on your licence, or a disqualification from driving.
Exchange motoring details
What should I record at the accident scene?
If no one else is involved in the accident, for example you caused damage to private property or a parked car, you should leave your details for instance a note where the owner can see it. And honesty pays. If a witness or CCTV camera saw you and noted your car number but you drove off, you could be in serious trouble.
Insist On A Police Investigation And Report
In many cases, there are no witnesses and you and the other driver may have conflicting versions of how the accident happened. If you do not request a police investigation, you may seriously damage your chances of obtaining full compensation, or worse, may be blamed for an accident that is not your fault. Thus, if an accident is not your fault, insist that the police are called. This ensures that all involved drivers will be forced to document how the crash occurred before having time for reflection. If the at fault driver does not want the police called, insist that they write up an admission of fault for you right at the scene which describes how the crash occurred and their responsibility for it. This should be dated and signed by them, and should refer to the location and time of the crash. If they refuse, call the police! In the State of Washington, however, the Police are not required to do a report when there are no injuries and none of the vehicles involved has more than $700 of property damage. They are also not required to prepare a report if the collision occurs on private property, such as in a parking lot.
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Do I Need To Call The Police When I Have An Accident
After an accident, you may not always be thinking clearly enough to know exactly how you should respond. Because this can often be a hectic situation, you will want to know everything that you should do beforehand, so when an accident happens you can act appropriately. If an accident has caused serious damage to your vehicle, you may be immediately compelled to contact your insurance agent first, instead of calling the police. Although getting compensation for the damages may be at the top of your priority list, it is imperative that you always contact the police first to ensure that the accident is officially reported.
Why should you call the police first? Your insurance agent will look at all of the information available surrounding the accident. If you failed to call the police afterwards, it may look a little suspect to your agent. Whether it’s true or not, failing to call the police can make the situation appear like the accident was your fault or perhaps that there wasn’t an accident at all. Your insurance agent will want official documentation and proof of the accident to make it easier to file the claim and receive the compensation you need. Because of the process for filing a claim, you will want to make sure that the police report lends credibility to your own argument.
Do I Need To Report The Accident To My Car Insurance Company
You should report the accident to your car insurance provider even if youre not planning to make a claim.
This is because the other driver might decide to make a claim without you knowing.
You should call them as soon after the accident as possible.
Theyll likely ask for:
- The registration numbers of the cars involved.
- The other drivers name, address and phone number.
- The other drivers insurance details, if you have them.
You could also mention if you have any dash cam footage of the accident at this point too.
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Failing To File A Report Can Hurt Your Case
After a minor accident, you may decide that since your car is drivable, it is fine. But, unless youre a mechanic and you gave your car a thorough examination, you dont really know for sure. What if, for instance, the frame is cracked? You dont know because you cant see it.
Its possible to have minor dents or dings turn into bigger problems down the road. If you find you need to make repairs later, you may not be able to get the other drivers insurance company to pay for it. Instead, they will likely make the argument that youre trying to be reimbursed for car problems that existed before the accident. Without a police report or any proof of the accident, you may not be able to recover proper compensation.
Similarly, you may feel fine right after the crash, but later on, you begin to notice pain in your neck or back. The force of even a minor rear-end accident can be enough to jerk your neck, which could result in injury to areas like your neck or spine. Again, the insurance company will probably argue against paying your bills, since you didnt get medical treatment right away or bother to file a police report.
How Police Reports Are Used In A Car Accident Injury Case
A police report is often used as powerful leverage in settlement negotiations . Police reports tend to include detailed statements and information about the accident, such as the type of weather and road conditions the accident occurred in, the date and time the accident took place, and, critically, the names of any witnesses who might have watched the accident unfold.
During litigation, a lawyer can use a police report to refresh the police officers recollection of his/her investigation of the accident scene. The investigating police officer and witnesses listed on the report may be called upon to testify at a trial or deposition, which is sworn oral testimony taken outside of court. Such testimony can be absolutely invaluable, sometimes even making the difference between success and failure.
Theres also another important reason to call the police after you get into an accident: depending on how serious the crash was, your failure to notify law enforcement could result in criminal charges.
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Should I Call The Police After A Car Accident
Some of the most common questions people have following a very minor car accident have no black or white answer. Most of the answers associated with car accidents and whats required of them are gray, and they all have a special consideration or two. Many people are involved in small accidents each day. These are so minor people dont even ruin the progression of their day to deal with them. They have a little bit of an inconvenience, but its not bad enough there are injuries involved or any significant damage to their vehicle. This could be something backing into you in a parking lot, someone hitting you with a grocery cart, or even a minor bump when someone lets off the brake too soon at a stop light or stop sign.
Minor fender benders happen, and most people arent too worried. In fact, many people wonder if there is any reason they need to contact the police. If the damage is so minor you neednt report it and can have it repaired for very little on your own, why report it? Before you assume you can get away with forgoing a call to the police, its best to learn what the law requires.
Q: Is Calling the Police Necessary?
Theres nothing wrong with reporting an accident of any severity, but you dont want to break the law by not calling the police when state law requires you call. What you should always do is exchange personal information with the other driver. This includes your names, contact information, and your insurance information.