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Should I Always Call the Police After a Motor Vehicle Accident?

Posted on in Car Accidents

Waukegan personal injury attorneysWhen you are involved in a car accident, you may be completely unsure of what to do next. The first step in any car accident is to address any injuries and move the vehicles out of harm’s way (if possible). If the accident appears minor, many people choose to exchange insurance and contact information with the other driver without involving the police. It may seem easier and less stressful to avoid police involvement after a car crash. Doing so, however, can be very risky.

You Cannot Be Certain as to the Extent of the Damage to Your Vehicle

How certain are you of your knowledge of motor vehicles? After an accident, a cursory glance at the vehicles involved may lead you to believe that the damage is minimal. However, even minor fender-benders can cause damage which is not immediately apparent. A jolt to your car or truck may have caused the frame to shift, damaged electronic sensors, or caused other internal damage. These issues can significantly increase the cost of repairing the vehicle. Without a formal police report, it may be difficult to prove that these issues were caused by the accident.

You May Be More Injured Than You Realize

Adrenaline is a hormone released into the bloodstream during a stressful or scary event such as a traffic accident. This hormone results in an increased heart rate and dilated pupils, but it also can reduce the pain that an injured person feels. Many people do not realize how injured they actually are until hours or even days after being involved in a crash. If you do not contact the police after an accident, it might be nearly impossible to prove that any injuries you sustained were a result of the accident. A full police report can dramatically strengthen your claim to cover the costs caused by the accident.

You Need a Written Account of the Accident

When you call the police after an accident, you will have a formal, objective report of the accident. This is extremely important for several reasons. Without the police report, the claim that you file with your insurance company will only be based on your word and your memory about what happened. Meanwhile, the other driver will file a similar claim with his or her insurance company based on his or her own version of the events. The discrepancies between the claims could affect your ability to collect compensation. While police reports are not perfect, and they certainly do not tell the whole story of the accident, they are often crucial elements in collecting damages for medical bills, ongoing rehabilitation expenses, lost wages, and considerations.

Contact a Lake County Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have been injured in any type of motor vehicle accident, seek medical attention immediately. Then, contact an experienced Waukegan car crash attorney at Salvi and Maher, L.L.C. to discuss your options for recovering damages. Call 847-662-3303 for a free consultation. We charge no upfront fees, and we only get paid if you collect compensation.

 

Sources:

http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2013/12/17/7-steps-to-take-after-a-car-accident

https://www.allstate.com/tools-and-resources/car-insurance/in-case-of-a-car-accident.aspx

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