How To Report A Car Accident To The Police

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Legally reviewed by Alex Uriarte on September 14, 2022 Alex Uriarte is a member of the 1-800-Injured network.


If you have been involved in a car accident, it can be confusing to decide what to do next. If the accident is minor, you may be able to exchange information with the other driver and file a report yourself. However, if the accident is more serious, you will likely need to call the police.

There are a few things that you should do after any car accident, regardless of how serious it is:

  1. Check for injuries and assess the damage to your vehicle.
  2. Move your vehicle out of the way of traffic, if possible.
  3. Call the police and wait for them to arrive on the scene.
  4. Get checked by the EMTs for any injuries you may not have noticed.

If you are involved in a more serious car accident, it is important to stay calm and call 911 as soon as possible. The police will be able to help sort out the details of the accident and determine who is at fault, while the EMTs dispatched to the scene will be able to administer first aid and check all victims to make sure they get the care they need. Do not refuse an exam by an EMT, as something as minor as this refusal may come back to haunt you during an insurance claim.

The police will likely ask you for a statement about what happened. Be prepared to give them your name, contact information, and insurance information. You will also need to give them a description of the accident, including what happened and where it occurred. If there are any witnesses to the accident, try to get their contact information or encourage them to leave a statement with the police as well. It is important to be honest in your statement, but you should avoid giving them any kind of admission of guilt. If you are unsure about what to say, it is best to wait until you have spoken with an attorney.

Reporting a car accident to the police may seem like a hassle, but it is important to do so to protect your rights. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.

Do You Need To Report Your Car Accident?

Many car accidents are minor, and the police may not need to be involved. If there is no significant damage to either vehicle and everyone involved appears to be uninjured, you may be able to exchange information with the other driver and file a report after the fact.

However, if the accident is more serious, or if the other driver caused the crash because of negligent or reckless behavior, it is always best to err on the side of caution and call the police. The police will be able to investigate the accident and, if necessary, file charges against the other driver.

In some states, you are required by law to report any car accident that results in injuries or property damage. In other states, you only need to contact the police if the damage exceeds a certain dollar amount.

If you are involved in a car accident, the best course of action is to always err on the conservative side and call the police. This way, you can be sure that the accident will be properly documented and that any necessary investigation will be conducted. There is nothing more frustrating than following up with an at-fault driver after not calling the police, only to find that they have changed their story or are denying that they caused the accident.

What Information Goes Into an Accident Report?

When you report a car accident to the police, they will likely ask you for some basic information about what happened. This includes:

  • Your name and contact information
  • The other driver’s name and contact information
  • A description of what happened
  • The location of the accident
  • The names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident

Another piece of information present in the police report is the attending officer’s opinion on how the accident happened and who they believe was at fault. If they issued any citations or there were any arrests made at the scene of the accident, this information will also be included.

What To Do If the Other Driver Doesn’t Want the Police Involved

There may be occasions when the other driver involved in the accident does not want to involve the police. In some cases, this may be because they were driving without insurance or with a suspended license. In other cases, it may simply be because they do not want to deal with the hassle of filing a report.

If the other driver does not want to involve the police, it is best to politely decline and insist on calling the police yourself. If they continue to refuse, you can always call the police yourself and report the accident. In fact, this is why it is a good idea to think about calling 911 before you even exit your vehicle.

Reporting an accident to the police is important for many reasons. It creates an official record of what happened, which can be used as evidence if the other driver tries to deny their role in the accident. It also allows the police to investigate the accident and, if necessary, file charges against the other driver.

Incorrect Information On the Accident Report?

If you believe that the police officer made a mistake when completing the accident report, you can always request a copy of the report and make corrections yourself. In most cases, the police department will be happy to provide you with a copy of the report, and they will usually make changes if you point out errors.

Keep in mind, however, that the police report is not always 100% accurate. Eyewitness accounts can be flawed, and the officer’s recollection of what happened may not be completely accurate. As such, it is important to use the police report as a starting point for your own investigation rather than relying on it as the gospel truth.

Don’t Forget To Talk To a Lawyer

If you have been involved in a car accident, it is important to take quick and decisive action. The first step is to call the police and make sure that an official report is filed. From there, you can begin to piece together what happened and take steps to protect your interests.

And of course, one of the most important steps you can take is to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer. A lawyer can help you understand your rights and options, and they can fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

If you have been involved in a car accident, do not hesitate to reach out to 1-800-Injured. We will connect you with an experienced lawyer who can help you make sense of your case and explain what you can expect in your next steps.