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What to know when reporting a car accident to the police

If you are involved in a minor or serious accident, you need to report it to the police. This can save you significantly, as you will have a police report, which can benefit you if you file a car accident claim. Additionally, you may be required by law to call the police.

Here is what to keep in mind:

The circumstances related to the accident

The circumstances surrounding the accident you are involved in may determine how you report it. If you are involved in a car accident that results in someone’s death or property damage in excess of $500, you need to immediately notify the local police department if the accident occurs within an incorporated city or town. If the accident occurs outside of an incorporated city or town, report it to the nearest sheriff’s office or state police station.

If the crash you are involved in occurs in a geographical area under an order of evacuation by a competent authority or the area is under a declared state of emergency, you will report the accident observing the above-discussed provisions but with an extended time frame – within 72 hours of the occurrence of the accident. 

What will the police do? 

Upon arriving at the accident scene, the law enforcement officer handling your case will inform you about the information to exchange with the other driver or any other person injured in the crash. They will then gather relevant evidence or investigation.

After completing the investigation, they will forward a copy of the crash report to the respective department, depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident.

In most cases, contacting the police is a requirement after a car accident. Get more information about the crash you are involved in to know the steps to take.