When you are in a major auto accident, you already know that it is important to call the police and an ambulance. If you do not contact the authorities personally, then it is likely that passersby will get a hold of the appropriate authorities due to the potential for major injuries. When you are involved in a minor accident and there are no witnesses, it might be possible to avoid a call to the police in certain situations.
Damage to Vehicles
A car accident does not always cause enough damage to the vehicle to put in an insurance claim, especially if the situation was a light touch during parking, while pulling out of a parking spot or getting a little too close while coming up on the traffic light.
The key factor to consider before you get the authorities involved is whether the vehicles were damaged. If it is nothing more than some scratched paint, then it may be possible to settle the problem without making a report.
Although a small bump may allow you to work out the details with the other driver, you may decide to make a report with the police for clarity and personal records. The police record helps keep both parties honest and limits the risk of paying out when the vehicle was not damaged and the individual did not sustain any injuries.
Witnesses and Injuries
If the accident was witnessed by another party or injuries were sustained by any of the drivers or passengers, then it is important to get the authorities involved. A witness may decide to contact the authorities as a good Samaritan, even if injuries and major repairs are unnecessary.
The final factor to consider is your policy and the coverage on your insurance plan. If your policy requires records and proof of every incident that occurs, then it may be necessary to get a hold of the authorities, even if the situation otherwise would not require any intervention.
Read through your coverage plan carefully to determine if you have any clauses, complications or further concerns to address. If anything seems odd or you cannot understand the jargon, then contact your local agent and ask questions. Never assume that your coverage does not have clauses because it can come back and cause strife in the future.
It is not always necessary to get the authorities involved, but it is usually a good idea. The reason is simple: by making a record of the situation, you are able to keep everyone honest and you do not run the risk of having another driver decide to sue you when a minor auto incident occurs.
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