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Car Accident FAQ: When Should I Call the Police?

After a San Diego car accident, many drivers are unsure exactly what to do. Given the stress associated with even a minor crash, we understand that many drivers simply want to leave the scene as soon as possible.

However, there are certain circumstances in which California drivers must call the police and stay on the accident scene until officers arrive, namely if the accident caused a death or injury. Police also advise to call in the following circumstances:

  • A vehicle cannot be safely moved
  • A driver appears to be intoxicated
  • A driver does not have a license
  • A driver tries to leave the scene without providing the proper information
  • Public property has been damaged

If your vehicle has been damaged and cannot be moved, it is important to make sure you are visible to oncoming traffic. At night and in other cases where visibility is reduced, it is especially important to use your hazard lights, flares, and a flashlight to warn oncoming traffic. In most situations, it is safest to stay with your vehicle and wait for help to arrive. Don’t attempt to cross the roadway or stop traffic.

If your vehicle can be safely driven and no one has been injured, it is important to move it off the roadway for your safety and that of other motorists. At that point, be sure to exchange information with the other party in the collision and obtain the name, address, and phone number of any witnesses.

California drivers must also report the accident to the Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days if someone is injured or killed or if damage to either car is more than $750. Finally, if the other driver was at fault and you suffered injuries, you may be entitled to compensation, such as reimbursement for medical expenses and lost wages.

If you or someone you care about has suffered serious injury in a motor vehicle accident involving a negligent driver, don’t hesitate to contact a San Diego injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation. After a serious crash, we can advocate on your behalf to help hold the negligent parties accountable for their actions and seek the compensation you deserve.