If you get in a car accident, do you need to call the police? This is a common question, particularly from people worried they might be found at fault for the accident.
The answer to this question is generally simple: Yes. In most cases, you should call the police if you are involved in a St. Louis car accident. Here’s why.
Why Call the Police After a Car Accident?
The police serve a lot of different functions after an accident. They get testimony from witnesses and drivers, help coordinate emergency care (if necessary), and help investigate the scene and document potential causes of the accident.
They also help keep you safe, particularly if the other driver is intoxicated, is acting aggressively, or is otherwise threatening your safety in some way. Even if you’re involved in a minor accident, you should call the police. In most cases, you should:
- Call 911 if the accident involves serious injuries. If the situation is dire or involves injuries, you should call 911 immediately to get first responders on the scene ASAP.
- Call the police non-emergency line if the incident is more minor. If you have a minor fender-bender in the parking lot, you may want to call your local police’s non-emergency line since emergency medical care, and first responders won’t be needed.
If you’re not sure whether or not the issue is an emergency, call 911. The dispatcher can learn about the situation and recommend the appropriate action.
What to Do if the Police Tell You They Aren’t Coming to the Scene
If your accident is not serious, the police may tell you to exchange your insurance information and personal details with the other driver and choose not to send an officer to the scene.
If this is the case, make sure you and the other driver exchange:
- License plate number, as well as the registered state if not Missouri
- Telephone numbers
- The name of the car insurance company
- The policy number of the insurance policy
It’s a good idea to see documents from the other party from which you can copy this information, such as their address and name from their driver’s license, and their insurance policy number from their insurance card.
If the other party refuses to verify their information, call the police again and request that the other driver stays in place until the police arrive. If the other driver does not comply, the police will generally agree to come to the scene.
Get Help From a Car Accident Lawyer After a Crash in St. Louis
If you have recently been in a serious car accident in St. Louis or anywhere else in Missouri, you will greatly benefit from the help of an experienced team of lawyers to negotiate with insurers, pursue damage, and get the compensation you’re entitled to. Contact The Hoffman Law Firm now to speak to an experienced St. Louis car accident attorney and get a free case review.
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