We Care About Your Future

Do I need to call the police after being in an auto accident?

On Behalf of | Oct 2, 2023 | Personal Injury |

When there is an auto accident in Kentucky, people will immediately be concerned about their health and any damage to their property. In addition, they are often unsure as to whether they need to contact law enforcement and file an accident report.

If there are no noticeable injuries and the property damage is limited so the vehicles can still be driven, they might think it is better to settle it amongst themselves or just contact their insurers without police intervention.

There are times when the decision not to call law enforcement is lawful. However, in other circumstances, it is a legal violation. In another context, even if it was not a bad accident and no one believes they are injured, it is still wise to contact the police and file a report. It is also useful to get medical treatment since some injuries take time to manifest.

Some accidents must be reported

According to state law, there are specific times when law enforcement must be called. One is if the vehicle is inoperable. If the driver does not inform law enforcement or is unable to do so, others in the vehicle or the owner are required to take this step.

When an officer arrives, they will proceed with an investigation, write a report and file it with their agency. The agency will then inform the State Police within 10 days of the investigation.

The amount of damage to the vehicles is also relevant. If the estimated property damage goes beyond $500 and there was no police investigation, the person who was operating the vehicle must file a written report with the Kentucky State Police. It must be done within 10 days.

The accident report is important not just to have a documented and official record as to what happened presented in an objective way. It is imperative in the aftermath. For example, everyone involved and their representatives will have access to the reports. That includes parents or guardians of minors who were in the crash, insurance companies, attorneys and anyone who is a party to litigation stemming from the accident.

It is wise to seek help after an accident

It is tempting to avoid getting police involved in an auto accident. Some might be fearful as to what will happen to their driving record and insurance if they do report it. Despite that, people should be aware of the negatives that can accompany the decision not to call law enforcement.

Property damage can be costly to repair. More troubling is the possibility that people who were injured in the crash will not have a record of it and might have a tougher time exploring their legal options.

This is particularly true in incidents where the injuries are not obvious from the start. Feeling lingering pain and soreness after an unreported accident and seeking medical attention only to find there were injuries can make it more difficult to pursue compensation without an accident report. This can hinder recovering a maximum financial settlement for all that was lost.