Motor Vehicle Collision Claim Procedures For California Motor Vehicle Accident Victims
We suggest that you do. Depending on the information that you provide to 911/emergency dispatch, law enforcement may or may not appear at the scene of the accident. If you indicate that all parties to the accident are present at the scene and that there are no injuries, then officers will not be likely to show up (or if they do, it will be a long time later). However, if there are injuries requiring emergency medical treatment/transport and you inform emergency dispatch of the situation, then uniformed officers and EMT will arrive quickly on the scene. Also, if the other driver is not cooperating with you regarding the proper exchange of information at the scene, law enforcement will be necessary. By informing emergency dispatch that the other driver is not cooperating, dispatch will send an officer out to the scene quickly because they understand the situation may escalate between the drivers.
Having law enforcement at the scene of the accident is important due to their training and objectivity. Since they are not a party to the accident, they will not be shocked or traumatized by the incident itself. Further, they are trained to investigate traffic accidents, so they will take notes of the scene, conditions of the road, locations of the vehicles after impact, as well as interview witnesses that will provide critical information for determining liability. All of this information will later form the basis of an accident report which will most likely include a summary and conclusion by the reporting officer as to how the accident occurred and who was fault. If a traffic violation occurred, the resulting citation will be noted in the report as well. As such, an accident report may greatly increase the chances of success in your auto accident claim. These reports are especially crucial where liability for the accident itself is in question.
After an incident where uniformed officers arrive on the scene, they should provide you with a card containing the reporting officer’s name and the report number (so that you can retrieve a copy of the report later on). Either you or your legal representative can get a copy of the report later on when it is completed and ready to be distributed. Please also note, while it is important to answer all of the police officer’s questions truthfully, we recommend that you hold off admitting fault at the scene until you have a chance to consult with an attorney.