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?

Answer
“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.”
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Emily Maracle
Answered on Aug 17, 2021
Emily Maracle is a car insurance specialist living in New York. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she has a degree in English Literature and a background in customer service. She enjoys cooking, gardening, and living sustainably. In the future, she can't wait to upgrade to a hybrid or electric car.
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