Why It Is Important to Call the Police After a Crash
Sometimes drivers hesitate on whether to call the police after an accident. Drivers might hesitate for several reasons, but mostly because they do not think the crash warrants calling 9-1-1. However, no matter how minor your injuries are, you should always call the police after an accident.
Below, we discuss why it is important to get the police involved if someone else’s negligence resulted in a crash.
Call our New Jersey-area car crash lawyers today if you have questions about your legal options after an accident. We can discuss your claim during a free consultation. There are no upfront fees for our services.
POLICE CAN SECURE AN ACCIDENT SCENE
Accident scenes can sometimes be hazardous. Especially if the collision occurred in a high-traffic area. If one or more of the vehicles involved cannot be moved, the scene can be even more dangerous.
Calling the police to the scene of the crash can help ensure the scene is secured. Their presence may also help to prevent another collision from occurring, as traffic should be redirected by police. If a roadway needs to be shut down entirely, only the police can do this. If a collision involves a single vehicle or the other vehicle fled the scene, securing the accident scene can be doubly important, as other drivers may not realize a crash occurred.
Once the accident scene is secured, injury victims may have a greater chance of gathering important evidence to help prove liability. This includes taking photos and gathering contact information from witnesses or other drivers involved in the crash.
POLICE ARE TRAINED TO PERFORM BASIC MEDICAL CARE IN AN EMERGENCY
After a serious crash, police may often be the first ones to respond to the scene. Even before emergency medical services arrive. Police officers are trained to provide basic medical care when necessary.
Having someone at the scene who can perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) could be the difference between life and death for a victim.
If the accident is less serious, but one or more accident victims require medical attention, having police at the scene may still be beneficial. The police officer at the scene may initiate basic medical care and request an ambulance to the scene, which may be faster than if you were to dial 9-1-1 yourself.
POLICE OFFICERS CONDUCT A PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION
One important aspect of a police officer’s job at a crash scene is to conduct a preliminary investigation. For car accidents, this could help provide insight into the cause of the collision.
For instance, police officers are trained to investigate and assess whether a driver may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If police suspect one of the drivers was distracted or impaired, he or she may look for more evidence. Police may also request the driver perform a sobriety test or take a breathalyzer test.
Another part of a preliminary investigation is to talk to any potential witnesses to the accident and get a statement. The police officer will also get a statement and additional information from the parties involved in the crash. This includes getting insurance, vehicle and driver’s license information.
A POLICE REPORT CAN SERVE AS EVIDENCE
Once the police officer’s preliminary investigation is complete, he or she will file a police report with all the information gathered. This is another good reason for calling the police to the scene of an accident. While a police report is not admissible in a court of law, it provides useful evidence that can help to establish someone else’s negligent actions caused the crash.
Not only can it help prove liability, but it also contains the details you need when you file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
POLICE OFFICERS MAY BE CALLED ON AS A WITNESS
Police officers who respond to an accident scene may be called as a neutral witness to testify about what they observed at the scene. However, this is only if the case goes to trial. They are often used as expert witnesses due to their ability to remain an objective third party.
A police officer may be able to help illustrate to a jury their assessment of how a collision occurred. For instance, if the evidence at the scene showed that the at-fault party was in violation of a law, like drinking and driving. An officer’s training to detect impairment could once again be useful to help establish fault.
AFTER THE POLICE, CALL A LAWYER
It is important to always call the police after an accident. Even if you do not think you are injured, or if the at-fault driver is cooperating. You never know what can happen after, and it may be better that you have a police report filed at the scene.
The second most important phone call after a crash is to an attorney. We are prepared to take your call to discuss the legal options that may be available to you.
Call (800) 518-0508 to schedule a free consultation.