Should I Call the Police After a Car Accident in Charlotte?

Should I Call the Police After a Car Accident?When involved in a car accident, it may be an instant response or instinct to grab your phone and call the police. However, you might be surprised to learn how many people question or second guess whether to call the police. They might think that the damage or injuries sustained is too minor to bother law enforcement, or the other driver or parties involved may offer them cash to keep the police out of the situation.

Why should I contact law enforcement after my car accident in Charlotte?

The law in North Carolina requires drivers to contact law enforcement immediately after a car accident. Even if you believe the damage or injuries are minor, the full extent of losses may only become apparent weeks or months later. Therefore, it is important to inform law enforcement immediately to ensure the accident is documented for future purposes. If the other driver or parties involved offer you money to keep the police out of the situation, you should still call law enforcement. By taking the money and failing to report the accident, you may be unable to ever get the appropriate compensation you need and deserve to cover your medical bills, lost income, property damage, and more.

What information should I give the police after a car accident?

When interacting with responding officers, focus on providing accurate details about the car accident. Typically, officers will guide the conversation, but you should be prepared to share:

  • The time of the accident
  • Whether you or your passengers were injured
  • Your contact information, as well as that of your passengers
  • Details about the activities leading up to the accident
  • Your license, car registration, and insurance information

Is there anything I should not tell the cops?

Feeling nervous when speaking with law enforcement post-accident is natural. However, you should do your best to remain calm and collected. Instead of volunteering that information and those details, stick to answering officers’ questions. Also, consider that any statements made to the police could be used against you by the defendant’s insurance company or legal team. Here are a few examples of what not to say to or around police officers at the accident scene:

  • I apologize, or I’m sorry.
  • I’m not hurt, I’m not in pain, or I don’t need a doctor.
  • I should have paid more attention.
  • I knew I was going around that curve too quickly.

Avoid saying anything that implies you are at fault or partially at fault. In addition, do not state that you are not hurt and do not need a doctor, as this could be used in the future to infer that you lied about your injuries.

Should I call my insurance company after a car accident?

Most insurance companies require policyholders to promptly inform them about any car accidents they are involved in. Therefore, if you are involved in any crash, you must contact your insurance company as soon as possible to  ensure compliance with policy requirements.

Do I need to notify the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) about the accident?

The responding officers usually notify and file an accident report with the North Carolina DMV. Simply call 9-1-1 after your accident and the responding officers will contact the DMV.

Where do I get my crash report?

You can get your crash report by filling out this form and mailing it to the DMV. However, when you work with Price, Petho & Associates, PLLC, we will access your crash report . It is a service we provide our clients. This not only saves our clients a step, but it can also expedite the process of filing their claim, as they do not have to wait to get their copy.

Should I still take pictures if the police come to the scene?

You should still take pictures even if the police respond to your accident. After you dial 9-1-1, the police officers will likely go to the accident scene immediately. There are only rare circumstances where officers do not come to the scene, such as extremely dangerous or inclement weather. Don’t let law enforcement prevent you from taking photos or recording videos of your injuries, the damage to the vehicles involved, the debris or markings on the roadway, and street signs.

Do the police come if I call for an ambulance?

If you call for an ambulance, the police will still go to your accident scene. They must respond to document the accident, examine injuries and property damage, form an opinion about who is at fault, issue citations if necessary, and determine what may have caused the accident.

Speaking with the police can be stressful, but it is a critical step after a car accident. Once you report your accident and seek medical treatment for your injuries, reach out to the Charlotte car accident attorneys at Price, Petho & Associates, PLLC, at your earliest opportunity. We can answer any questions and concerns regarding your accident as well as help you determine the best legal routes to pursue. Call our office or submit our contact form to schedule your free, no-obligation case review at one of our office locations in Rockingham, Rutherfordton, or Charlotte today.