Unfortunately, most people will be in at least one car accident in their lifetime. That being said, it is critical to understand what to do following a collision to protect your rights. Many people wonder whether it is necessary to contact the police and obtain a police report if the crash is minor. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you may exchange information with the other party and file the police report yourself. There are, however, several benefits to having the police at the scene of the accident. These benefits include drafting a police report documenting the claim. Oftentimes, victims have difficulty remembering critical details days after the collision. This can make it challenging to determine who was responsible for the cause of the accident. The police can investigate the accident and establish liability. Keep reading to discover the significance behind calling the police following a car accident and learn how our competent Westchester County Car Accident Attorneys can help you. 

Do I need to call the police after a car accident in New York?

In New York, you are legally required to call the police from the scene of a car accident under the following circumstances. These circumstances include injury, death, or damage to the property of an unknown owner. If anyone has suffered injury or fatality, you must call 911 from the accident scene. The same legal obligation applies if you damage a parked vehicle or another person’s property and the owner cannot be located you must report the accident to the police. If the accident caused $1,000 or more in property damage, you must report the accident to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days of the collision. It is imperative to note that you must also report whether the collision resulted in the death of a domestic animal. If you are required to call the police and fail to do so, you could face criminal penalties.

What if the accident was minor?

In many cases, car accident victims don’t know whether the accident injured them as some injuries have delayed effects. If this is the case, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Therefore, when in doubt, the best thing you can do is call the police and report the accident.

Despite the accident being minor, you can still benefit from contacting the police. Firstly, the police will block off the accident scene to protect others from potential harm and preserve the scene. From here, they can interview all the parties involved in the collision and take witness statements. They will collect valuable information that can help you build a strong case as you will be required to prove the other party’s negligence directly caused your injuries if you decide to take legal action. The responding officer can also provide their opinion on the cause of the accident. This way they can determine if one person violated a traffic law, causing the accident. Ultimately, calling the police at the scene of a car accident is essential.

For more information on how to proceed after a car crash to maximize your chances of recovering reasonable compensation for your damages, contact one of our determined team members. Our firm is prepared to help you protect your rights.