If you are involved in a car accident, you should report it to the police immediately when in doubt. Each state has its own rules for when an accident should be reported, but the police may simply tell you that they won't come if it's not necessary for the officer to observe the scene of the crash. However, if the officer does arrive, there are several ways that this can benefit both you and your car accident lawyer.
The Police Offer a Different Perspective
The police officer is trained to analyze the scene and find evidence. The evidence that the officer writes down can then be used when negotiating a settlement. While both you and the other party might dispute how the accident occurred, an officer can offer a neutral third-party account. If the officer is not there, the other party might accuse you of causing the accident.
You might assume that your accident is minor, but the injuries you suffer from might take a few days to show up. You will need evidence of how the accident occurred and that the accident did occur to prove that your injuries were caused by it. You might also discover that the police officer writes down details that you forget.
The Other Driver Might Accuse You of Having Left the Scene
Even if you are not required to report the accident, you should speak with the other driver and exchange personal information. Involving the police will reduce the odds that you will be accused of having left the scene of the accident. If you are accused of having left, you might be accused of committing a hit-and-run.
The Driver's Written Statement
The driver might not want to wait until the police arrive. Regardless of whether the driver does this or not, you will want to encourage the driver to write a written statement that can then be used later when you are pursuing a settlement. For example, the driver might make a statement that they later contradict.
Once your car accident lawyer has gathered the evidence necessary to prove the fault of the other driver, with the help of a police report, you may be able to successfully negotiate a settlement. But even if you did not have a police report filed, an attorney can use eyewitness testimony, surveillance footage and evidence found at the scene of the crash to prove your version of the events.
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