The aftermath of a car accident is a stressful time. Still, most people are aware enough to call the police to report the accident. However, there are instances where the police don’t show up. When this happens, you will most likely have to take extra steps after your collision in order to protect yourself, especially when filing an insurance claim and speaking with an attorney.
If the police do not arrive to document what actually happened, it could put your claim in jeopardy. Fortunately, the team of experienced car accident attorneys at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg, and Gifford know how to help. Read on to learn how to protect yourself and claim if the police do not arrive on scene after an accident.
Do I Have to Call the Police After a Traffic Accident?
Calling the police after an accident is not only a good idea, in most instances it is also required, either by the law or by your insurance company. The reason being is that the police will report to the scene and gather any pertinent evidence for a report that will then become the basis for your claim.
Police reports also allow you to put your insurance company on notice of a potential uninsured motorist claim, which can allow you to recover damages even if the other driver’s identity is unknown. The lack of a police report will eliminate your ability to make a claim.
What Is a Police Report?
While jurisdictions and police departments vary, the basics of a police report are largely the same across the board. A police report is an official account and record of an accident, taken by a police officer at the scene. The information contained in a police report usually includes the following:
- Date, time, and location of the collision
- Names, addresses, and phone numbers of drivers and passengers
- The police officer’s name and badge number
- Witness statements
- Insurance information of the driver(s)
- Violations of the law and other citations
- Location and severity of damage to vehicles
- Road, weather, and visibility conditions
Outside of the basic facts and figures, police reports also usually include a diagram or drawing of the accident. Sometimes law enforcement will include photographs of the accident scene.
Because the police officer recording the report did not personally witness the accident, the report is generally considered hearsay. However, our experienced legal team may be able to use aspects of the report as evidence to support your personal injury case. Insurance adjusters will also review the police report to gain an understanding of what happened and who is responsible for causing the collision.
Why Would the Police Not Show Up?
Although we like to think of police officers as always being ready when called, the truth is that sometimes even they have to prioritize their presence. The most likely reason a police officer will not show up to an accident is because they may be busy with more serious criminal matters. Furthermore, they may have a more serious accident to respond to involving more vehicles or injuries. Another reason could be unforeseen or severe weather events that require evacuations or other emergency responses.
Once you realize that a police officer will not be showing up to your accident, there are several steps you may have to take to make sure you protect your claim, including:
- Take pictures or videos of damage
- Gather as much information as possible
- Get names and contact information of witnesses
- Gather any recorded statements
Even if the police do not respond to the crash, you can still request that an officer file a police report after the fact.
Contact the Skillful Pennsylvania Car Accident Attorneys at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C.
When a police officer fails to show up to the scene after an accident, it becomes your word against the other driver’s and further complicates dealing with the insurance company. Therefore, it is crucial that you do not delay in securing legal representation after your accident. Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C. has a firm grasp of Pennsylvania’s car accident and personal injury laws. If you have been involved in a car accident in Pennsylvania, it is vital to reach out and seek legal assistance as soon as possible. Contact us today at (215) 822-7575 or fill out our contact form to receive a free consultation from one of our experienced attorneys.