Should you call the police after you are in a car accident?
Generally, yes. If your accident is a serious one, and you or someone else was injured, you should definitely call the police.
The officer who arrives will probably perform a simple investigation, interview the people involved in the accident, gather information and file a police report.
The police report will have all of the above information, and sometimes the opinion of the officer. So a police report is helpful but only for one reason. It gathers all the information above in one place.
The police report itself is not evidence. The police officer was not there when the accident happened. Most likely, the scene of the crime has changed before the office arrived. Cars have moved, car parts have been moved, debris on the ground may have moved.
The officer’s opinion is usually unreliable and if everything has moved, will be based on a he said she said scenario. Basically, who does the cop believe more.
So why is a police report helpful if the police officer’s opinion is so unreliable?
Because it provides a starting blueprint for an investigation. We’ll have identifying information of all the parties. It’ll indicate where damage to each vehicle was located. If there are any witnesses, occasionally their statement and phone number will be in the report.
A police report is convenient. And if the opinions are in your favor, the report is very persuasive with the other side. However, the report can be very wrong and inaccurate, and if it is, you’ll have to prove your case the old fashioned way. With supporting evidence.
But yes, you should call the police non-emergency line every time there is an accident. Whether someone comes out, or writes a report, is a separate matter. You should still give them a call.