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Photo of Joshua Nielsen
Photo of Joshua Nielsen

Calling the police after a car accident

On Behalf of | Nov 8, 2019 | car accidents

Getting into a car crash can be a scary enough experience, which is why some motorists do not want to call the police to come to an accident scene, perhaps fearing what the police will say or do. North Carolina actually does not require drivers involved in accidents to call the police in all instances. However, depending on the situation, calling the police is mandated by state law.

According to current state law, if you are involved in an accident where someone was injured or had died as a result of the crash, you must inform the police. Even if no one was killed or seriously hurt, you may also have to call the police if the property of someone in the accident experienced over $1,000 in damage. Additionally, your auto insurer could require you notify the police if you get into an accident.

Some situations might not be entirely clear. Even if you see that property such as an automobile or some stationary property was damaged in a wreck, it is not always understandable how expensive the damages are. Also, while some minor accidents do not seem to warrant notifying the police, some cities or municipalities might require you do so even if state law does not.

It may even be beneficial to have a police report on file concerning your accident. FindLaw points out you have an opportunity to present your side of the story to an officer. While talking with the police, the best bets are to only discuss the facts and to not admit guilt. And if you obtain the name and badge number of the officer who speaks with you, you could contact that officer again if you recall more details about the incident.

Having a police report on file may also assist you in case the other driver tries to claim that you were at fault for the accident. Considering that North Carolina considers contributory negligence while evaluating who is at fault in vehicular accidents, you want to make sure you have all the facts on your side so that you do not have to pay out anything that you do not have to.