Do you have to call the police after an accident?
I wasn't at fault in an accident and we didn't call the police. My mom is upset that I didn't call them at the scene. Are you required to call the police after an accident?
“While it may seem unnecessary to call the police after a minor accident, it is beneficial. Depending on where you live, your state may require that you do as well.
In other states, you’re only required to call the police after a car accident if it results in bodily injury, death, or over $500 worth of damage to either vehicle. But unless you’re an auto body mechanic, determining the amount of damage to your vehicle isn’t easy. It’s always best to err on the side of caution, so call the police.
When you call the police, they can file a report for the accident on the scene. They will detail the damage done and how the accident occurred. This can help determine fault in an accident, which plays a vital role in making an insurance claim. They can also ensure that you get the correct information from the other driver.
Most car insurance companies will ask if you filed a police report when you report an accident to them. They use these reports police reports to verify damage and determine the percentage of fault from each driver. The more diligent you are, the more likely your payout will be larger.
Since you didn’t call the police, it may take longer for insurance to determine fault. Adjusters from both companies will need to look at the accident details to decide who is liable for the accident.
You’ll want to look into your state’s laws as well. If your state requires a police report, you’ll need to call and report the accident.”
Did this answer help you?
Ask us a question by email and we will respond within a few days.
Have a different question?
You can meet us at our office and discuss the details of your question.
Read advice from car experts at Jerry
Browse by topics
What others are asking
Do U.S. rental car companies allow you to drive to Mexico?
I have a rental car right now and want to take a trip to Mexico. Can I drive across the border with it?
Aug 17, 2021
Can anything bad happen if you don't report an accident?
My sister got into an accident and didn't tell her insurance company. Can she get in trouble? Her car is damaged, but she doesn't want to pay her deductible to get it fixed. She also doesn't want her rate to increase.
Aug 17, 2021
Do you need to report minor accidents to your car insurance?
I got into a minor accident and there are only a few scratches on my car. The other car wasn't damaged. Do I still need to inform my insurance?
Aug 17, 2021