There might be many thoughts going through your head after getting into a car accident. A lot of people wonder if calling the police after an accident is necessary, even if it’s a minor car accident or fender bender. If you have been involved in a car accident, it is important to protect your health and ensure you are compensated for any injuries, which is why it is recommended to contact the police after a car accident occurs.
Am I Required to Call the Cops After A Car Accident?
The actions you take in the hours or even days after a motor vehicle accident can make a huge difference in the compensation that you receive. After a car accident, in the state of New Jersey, it is required to call the police if the accident results in a death or injury, or if the accident causes $500 plus in damage to the property owned by either party.
If you aren’t sure what $500 of property damage looks like, it is best to call the police anyway, since a lot of car repairs are costly and could end up costing you $500 or more. You must call the police as quickly as possible, and if you can’t access a phone, it’s important to ask the other driver or witness to call.
Car accidents can be reported to:
- The local police department
- Nearest county police office
- New Jersey state police
It is not legally required to contact your insurance company, but you will want to do so quickly so that you can get the proper coverage for your car accident. Most insurance companies have strict policies that require you to report accidents soon after they occur, which is why it’s recommended to contact them as soon as possible.
Are There Any Time Limitations?
Typically, you should report a car accident right away. Normally people have access to their cell phones and can make a quick call to the police department. If for some reason you do not have access to a phone, but your vehicle is safe to drive following the accident, you can drive to the nearest police department. If your car is not operational after the accident, you can report the accident by calling law enforcement once you get home.
If you are filing a car accident lawsuit against the other driver involved in the accident, it has to be done within the 2-year statute of limitations.
Failing to Report an Accident Can Lead To Criminal Consequences
Any accidents that are not reported based on the requirements discussed above, can lead to a fine and you could have your driver’s license or car registration suspended.
Your best bet is to report any accident if you are unsure. It is better to be safe and avoid any consequences of not calling the police.
What Is Included In A Car Accident Police Report?
Police are able to provide a lot of insight on a car accident that you might not even think of, so it’s always important to call. They will provide facts, details, and specific descriptions of the accident. Police reports are also important for medical and insurance purposes also, and the more detailed the report is the easier the process will go.
The accident report will include distinct details about the accident, such as:
- Contact information from the drivers and passengers involved in the accident
- Insurance information from both drivers
- Witnesses’ information, such as contact details
- The damage location on vehicles and other property damage information
- Both the make and model of the vehicles involved
- The date, time, and location of the accident
- The condition of the road and also the weather
Police Reports & Lawsuits
If one of the parties involved decides to take legal action and file a personal injury lawsuit, a police report becomes beneficial. If no police report was filed and there happened to be an injury, the missing police report could be used against the individual who didn’t file one. If the injury was severe, then it is considered illegal. If the injury was minor, it could be argued that the injury was not severe enough to warrant a police report.
Contact Our New Jersey Car Accident Attorneys Today
Gold, Albanese & Barletti L.L.C., is a full-service personal injury law firm dedicated to helping accident victims obtain full compensation for their financial losses and pain and suffering. It is important to have an injury lawyer in your corner that is well-versed in traffic accident law so they can help you with your insurance claims. We will handle all aspects of your case, including all dealings with insurance companies. We want to help you get the medical care and compensation you need to rebuild your life. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.