Following a car accident in the District of Columbia, you may wonder whether to call the police. Regardless of the circumstances of the accident, even if another party tries to convince you not to notify the police, you should contact law enforcement about the collision. When the police arrive at the scene of the accident, they will take critical steps that can help you secure the fair compensation you deserve as they can investigate the cause of the crash to determine liability. Keep reading to learn why calling the police is essential after an accident and discover how our determined Washington, D.C. Car Accident Lawyers can help you navigate your legal options.
Why should I call the police after an accident in Washington D.C.?
After a car accident in Washington D.C., you must call the police. They will draft an official police report, take statements from witnesses, conduct chemical tests, and ensure you receive adequate care. It is imperative to note that the District of Columbia does not specifically require you to report most car accidents to the police. However, if you were involved in a car accident that injured someone, you are legally required to summon emergency assistance by calling 911. Additionally, you must remain at the scene of the accident until the police arrive and provide appropriate parties with identifying information. Failure to comply with your legal duties of reporting an accident that injured someone or involved property damage can lead to serious consequences such as a fine and potential jail time.
As mentioned above, calling the police is essential as they will redirect traffic to prevent additional collisions and preserve the scene of the accident. This allows the police to investigate without putting others at risk of injury. Since the District of Columbia is a no-fault car insurance jurisdiction, you will only contact the other motorist’s insurance company if your damages exceed your insurance benefits. Therefore, if you decide to take legal action against the other motorist, calling the police is a key step to securing reasonable compensation for your losses stemming from the accident.
Unfortunately, after an accident, still shell-shocked by the traumatic event that unfolded, you may not be able to remember critical details of the accident that can help establish fault. The police will draft an official report that contains valuable information that can help establish whether a motorist violated a traffic law. This is vital as Washington D.C. follows the contributory negligence doctrine. Therefore, if you were found even 1% at fault for the cause of the collision, your chances of recovering monetary compensation for your damages would be diminished.
If you were injured and incurred significant damages due to another motorist’s negligence, it is critical to contact a determined Washington, D.C. car accident lawyer. Regardless of whether you were involved in a minor or severe accident, you should always contact the police as they are a valuable resource. Our firm is committed to helping our clients achieve favorable results.