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​​Should You Always Call The Police After An Accident?

Even those who use the most care in their dealings with other people can end up hurt in accidents through no fault of their own. While this is perhaps most often seen in car accidents, these are by no means the only ways in which innocent people are injured because of someone else’s negligence. Slip and fall accidents, for instance, whether they occur in the workplace or merely while visiting a store, have become increasingly common, while many others sustain dog bites and similar injuries that could have been prevented. 

There are not always hard and fast rules for how an accident victim should respond in these kinds of situations. Calling law enforcement, however, and notifying them of the incident is almost always a good idea. Not only does taking this step help de-escalate a stressful or emotional situation, it can also go a long way towards proving negligence or recklessness on the part of the at-fault individual when filing a civil lawsuit. To learn more about the kinds of things that you can do after an accident to improve your own chances of recovering compensation, please call an experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer today. 

Reporting A Car Accident

In California, drivers who are involved in accidents are legally required to stop their vehicles, regardless of how minor their crash was. Whether the accident involved a stationary object, a pedestrian, a moving vehicle, or someone else’s property, drivers are legally obligated to stop and exchange their information with the other parties involved if possible. This is not the only thing required of drivers, who must also notify the California Highway Patrol or local police if the collision resulted in an injury. 

While the lack of physical injury technically absolves the parties of the obligation to notify the police of a crash, drivers are still encouraged to reach out to law enforcement officers, who will draft a report that can help provide a clear picture of how the accident happened. Besides describing the events that led up to a crash, these reports can also be used to show the extent of the vehicle damage and physical injuries involved. 

Reporting A Slip and Fall Accident

Car crash victims aren’t the only individuals who could benefit from the creation of a police report. Those who are injured in slip and fall accidents while on someone else’s property, for instance, after obtaining medical care, usually  notify security or the property manager at the location in question immediately. In most cases, businesses have their own protocols when it comes to filing subsequent incident reports. However, by calling the police and obtaining a proper police report, accident victims can ensure that:

  • There is official documentation detailing where and when the accident occurred;
  • The property owner’s contact information is preserved;
  • They have access to witness statements; and
  • Their injuries are documented by a third party. 

This evidence can prove critical in demonstrating a property owner’s fault at a later date. 

Reporting A Dog Bite

In California, dog owners are held strictly liable for injuries inflicted by their animals. This does not, however, mean that holding an animal’s owner liable for an injury is always easy. To help with this endeavor, California law actually requires that both dog owners and dog bite victims contact the police and report the incident as soon as possible. Besides helping ensure that the animal is controlled and further injuries are prevented, taking this step can help when filing a claim with the at-fault owner’s insurer. Furthermore, both parties have the responsibility to notify their local health department of the attack. In fact, an owner who fails to take this step could end up facing misdemeanor charges. This is an important step because the county agency in question will conduct an investigation verifying the attack, thereby discovering details about the circumstances surrounding the incident and helping the injured party obtain the proper medical care. 

Speak With An Experienced Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one were involved in an accident for which you were not at fault, you may be facing difficulty in collecting compensation from the responsible parties. Fortunately, you do not have to face these problems on your own. To learn more about the kinds of evidence, including police reports, that can be used to strengthen your own claim, please reach out to the dedicated Los Angeles personal injury attorneys at Fisher & Talwar by calling (213) 891-0777 today. Using one of our online contact forms, you can schedule an appointment with a member of our legal team.