Do I Really Need to Call the Police After a California Auto Accident?

In general, you should notify the police about any auto collision that caused injury or death. While California law does not require you to notify the police about minor car accidents, it’s usually in your best interest to do so.

The moments after an auto collision are often disorienting and overwhelming. First, take some time to assess yourself and others at the scene for any injuries. If you or anyone requires immediate medical attention, call for an ambulance right away. As you wait, you should exchange contact and insurance information with the other parties involved in the accident. However, you may question whether you need to inform the police of the accident. Here’s a brief overview of when to contact the police to report an auto accident in Riverside County and some of the benefits of doing so.

Auto Accident Reporting Obligations in California

First, California law requires all parties involved in a vehicle collision to stop and remain at the scene. If you take off, you could face significant consequences—even criminal charges for a “hit and run.” According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), you should “call 9-1-1 immediately to report the collision to the police or California Highway Patrol (CHP). In general, you should notify the police about any auto collision that caused injury or death. If law enforcement was not present at the scene, you must report the collision in writing to the police or CHP.

What About Minor Car Accidents?

While California law does not require you to notify the police about minor car accidents, it’s usually in your best interest to do so. Many auto accident victims do not realize the severity of their injuries until hours or days after the incident, so having a detailed police report is essential in building a strong auto accident claim later on. The responding officer will document the scene of the accident, take statements, and compile an objective account of the incident. This report will serve as a valuable resource once you start pursuing an auto accident claim to recover the compensation you need to support your recovery.

Talk to a Trusted Temecula Auto Accident Lawyer Today

Navigating your physical recovery after an auto accident in Southern California can be overwhelming and frustrating. Suddenly, you are facing unexpected expenses like medical bills, lost wages, and other costs stemming from the accident. However, you do not have to go through this challenging period alone. Enlisting the guidance of a knowledgeable auto accident attorney is the best way to ensure you file a successful claim and obtain a fair and favorable settlement.

 

Call Hales & Associates, a Professional Law Corporation, today at (951) 489-3320 to discuss your case with an experienced Temecula auto accident attorney.