Whenever you’re in a car crash, it’s important to get a police report documenting the accident. This vital piece of evidence will verify the information of everyone involved in the wreck, and demonstrate the crash occurred in the way you claim. A police report is so important; it’s usually the first piece of evidence your attorney will ask for during your free case consultation.
However, there may be a time when you call 911 after a serious wreck, and after a long wait, it seems like nobody is coming. So that raises the question, what happens if the police don’t come after a car crash?
While it’s very important to have a police report even for low-damage crashes, it’s technically not required. That said, you are required to file an accident report if it appears any single party experienced more than $1,000 in property damage from the crash or if anyone is injured or killed.
That responsibility exists even if you call 911 and the police do not respond. If you are in a serious crash and fail to report the accident within 10 days, the DMV can suspend your license.
Whether or not police are at the scene of the crash, you should make an effort to collect as much evidence as possible (as long as it is safe to do so). Make sure you exchange information with the other driver, take pictures of the damages, and ask witnesses if they’d be willing to make a statement or give you their contact information. If you don’t have a report, all of this evidence could make a big difference in helping you and your attorney prove your case.
The second thing you can do is visit the police precinct nearest to the crash site. You may be able to file a traffic report in person. If the police insist that they cannot issue an accident report without an officer being there first-hand, you should contact your attorney immediately. The sooner you contact your attorney, the better your chances of proving your damages and earning the full compensation you are entitled to under the law.