Benefits of Calling Police After an Indiana Car Crash
Posted On behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak on Mar 30, 2020 in Car Accidents
After a car accident happens, victims may be in shock and feel disoriented. However, these first moments are critical. Protecting your health is the most important priority. Calling police immediately following an Indiana car crash helps to ensure first responders arrive as soon as possible.
After calling 9-1-1 and getting examined by a medical professional, we also recommend contacting a reputable South Bend car accident lawyer from Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak. Once your injuries are stabilized, we can arrange a free, no-obligation legal consultation to discuss your potential case and legal options.
Immediate Benefits of Having Police at the Scene
Indiana law has strict requirements for reporting car accidents that occur in the state. Specifically, you must report any car accident involving:
- Any type of incident where your insurance company requests notification
- The death of a driver or passenger
- An injured driver or passenger
- Property damage that exceeds $1,000
- If you reside in a city that requires a police report for any type of accident
By calling the police you are simply following the law. If the other driver ask you not to report the accident because they want to avoid an increase to their car insurance rates, remember that you are obligated under the law to report the accident.
Additional benefits to having a police officer or other first responder at an accident scene include:
Police Presence Provides Stability
They can take precautions to protect the safety of those involved in the crash, as well as take steps to prevent crashes caused by rubbernecking. If one or more parties are injured and paramedics are not on the scene to tend to the wounded, police can call for an ambulance.
First Responders Are Trained to Assess Accident Scenes
While on the scene, first responders will assess the scene to determine what may have caused the accident and whether any traffic laws may have been violated. Law enforcement officers are trained to investigate car accident scenes by general observation as well as:
- Talking to you and any other drivers involved
- Interviewing witnesses to learn more about what happened
- Photographing the scene from different angles
- Observing fresh skid marks, road debris, weather conditions and property damage
- Obtaining the identification and insurance information for all involved drivers
The Police Report Provides An Official Record of the Crash
The information they gather is provided in an accident report. The officer at the scene should tell you how to obtain a copy of the report, but you can also ask them to provide that information.
Police May Issue Traffic Citations That May Strengthen Your Claim
If an officer believes a traffic or state law was violated and may have contributed to the accident, he or she may issue a citation or take other actions to gather evidence. This could include issuing a field sobriety or breath test if it is believed a driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Officers may also confiscate a phone if distracted driving is suspected. The results of these findings may help your claim later on and it is critical to the potential success of your claim that this investigation is carried out before evidence is lost or destroyed.
How a Police Report Can Impact Your Claim
Having a police report can help your insurance claim in many ways:
- Without an official record of the accident, the insured at-fault driver may try to deny that he or she was involved in an accident, or if they admit to being involved, he or she may deny liability.
- Insurance adjusters are responsible for determining fault, but they give greater weight to a police assessment at an accident scene.
- Since Indiana observes comparative negligence, you may be unable to pursue a claim if you are 51 percent or more liable for an accident. However, a police report may help strengthen an argument to reduce your percentage of liability.
Minor Accidents Can Still Cause Serious Injuries and Expensive Property Damage
Even if you think the accident only caused minor damage, it is still important to file a police report. Even minor accidents can result in underlying property damage you could not immediately observe. This is also true of some serious or life-threatening injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, internal bleeding or organ damage.
How an Attorney May Benefit Your Accident Claim
An attorney can play a critical role in your accident claim by investigating the cause of the crash, gathering supportive evidence and helping to limit the percentage of fault you may be assigned. He or she may also:
- Thoroughly research all potentially liable parties
- Handle communications with the insurance company and other third parties
- Follow up with eyewitnesses
- Negotiate any settlement offer to ensure you receive fair compensation for your damages
At Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak, we are dedicated to tirelessly working to obtain maximum compensation for your claim. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your claim in more detail, and if we represent you, we charge no upfront fees during the legal process. We only collect the fees for our services after obtaining compensation on your behalf.
During this COVID-19 crisis, we also want to assure new potential clients that we can review and process new claims completely online. There is no need for you to come into the office, as our online processes are completely secure.
Call our firm 24/7 to learn more. FREE consultation. ZERO upfront costs: (844) 678-1800